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Author of " Adam and Eve," or the Celtic proved to be the Primitive 
Language, together with the Genealogy of the Gael, &c. 

" Mar ghath 6oluia do m' anam fein 
Tha sgeula na h-aimsir a dh' f halbh." — Ossian. 

11 loua. has long demanded a volume— a book of its own."— JW Culloch. 






Glasgow :— E. Khull, Printer to the University. 

IH *ky 






In dedicating the subsequent compilation 
of historical facts to you, nothing is farther from my 
design than flattery. For twenty years past your 
public character has been to me a subject of secret ad- 
miration — a model of excellence, in my judgment, 
worthy of all imitation. 

The liberality of your education has thrown open to 
you the policy- walks and gardens of Nature, and Na- 
ture, pleased to see her green walks trodden, created 
an appetite to partake of her abundant stores. 

Knowledge, like fire, has a spreading quality— it can- 
not be inactive and live : your knowledge found abun- 
dance of kindred matter in the mechanics of your native 
city, over whom you have presided so many years 
with credit to yourself and benefit to them — fanning 
and feeding the kindling genius — cherishing and nour- 
ishing the budding sapling. 


r 1 have another reason, however, for sending^this 
little work out under your protection, namely, your 
hearty attachment to the interesting island lona, upon 
which it treats, — your entertaining, in a compara- 
tively apathetical age, a lively sense of the obligation 
under which Great Britain lies to that small island. 

That your sun may long soar in wonted majesty, to 
illumine still and cheer with mild beams the pleased 
satellites, is the sincere prayer of, 

Your humble Admirer, 
glasgow, Juli/, 1&38. 




Introduction — Definition, &c 1 


Description — Inscriptions, &c ..; 5 


History — The Druidical iEra — Some Account of that 
ancient Religion, &c ...i.. 18 


Landing of Columba, and his Proceedings in Iona, &c. 28 


A List of some of the immediate Disciples of Columba 
— A Chronicle of Events connected with Iona, &c. 43 


The state of things at Iona begins to decline — Iona 
burnt by the Danes — Reformation ! — Devastation 
— Horror — Murder — Original documents illustra- 
tive of the history of Icolmkill, and the Bishoprick 
of the Isles — Urnuigh Phaisdean Ii, &C 54 


Iona viewed as a Place of Sepulture — Names of Scot- 
tish Kings, and the manner of their death — Kings 
of Ireland, of Norway, &c 104 


Brief Sketches of the Chiefs and Chieftains buried in 
Iona, 119 


Page 103, line 13, for Aithair read Athair, 
last line, for Atir read Air. 


I N A. 



The title of Iona to fame will be disputed by no 
one. Let us hear what two well known scholars 
have to say on the subject of this interesting spot. 
Their testimony is the offspring of much reading, 
and an acquaintance with the early history of 
nations. But all men have not this knowledge 
at hand, nor the power to arrive at it: to put it, 
therefore, within their reach, is certainly a desid- 
eratum. The traveller who, perhaps, from far, 
visits Iona without a previous knowledge of its 
history, I pity. We can easily imagine a differ- 
ence between the feelings of one who would visit 
the field of Bannockburn with a knowledge of 
its story, and of one who, losing his way, would 
stumble upon it by chance, and quit it without 
knowing what ground he had been treading. 

The learned Dr Samuel Johnson thus expresses 
himself: — ■" We are now treading that illustrious 



island which was once the luminary of the Cale- 
donian regions, whence savage clans and roving 
barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and 
the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind 
from all local emotion would be impossible, if it 

were endeavoured, and would he foolish, if it were 
possible. Whatever draws us from the power of 
our senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, 
or the future, predominate over the present, ad- 
vances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far 
from me and from my friends be such frigid philo- 
sophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved 
over any ground which has been dignified by 
wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little 
to be envied whose patriotism would not gain 
force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety 
would not grow warmer among the ruins oilona" 
— Journey to the Western Isles. 

Dr MacCulloch, a more recent traveller, is not 
less enthusiastic. " It is not easy to wander 
among these remains, uninfluenced by the recol- 
lections they are calculated to excite. He who 
can here abstract himself from the living objects 
round him, and abandon his mind to the visions 
of the past, will long after recur, with feelings of 
pleasing melancholy, to the few hours which he 
has spent among the tombs of lona? 

" It is the antiquarian and moral history of 
lona which constitute its great interest. Pennant 

OF 10INA. .5 

and Cordiner have been the historians ; and how 
imperfectly they have performed their tasks, I 
need not say. It is not very creditable to those 
who might have done it long since, that Iona — 
the day-spring of savage Caledonia — should so 
long have remained an object for wandering tour- 
ists to tell of; unhonoured, undescribed by those 
who owe to it the deep debt of civilization, of 
letters, and of religion ; untold by an iEbudean — 
untold even by a Highland pen. Iona has long- 
demanded a volume — a book of its own." — Highl. 
fy IsL of Scotl. vol. iv. p. 147. 

Iona is known to the native Highlander by 
four names : 

1. Innis-nan-Druidhneach — The Isle of the 

2. It — The Island, by way of eminence. 

3. li-Cholum-chille — The Isle of Colum of the 
cell or cemetery. Cill — the " cell," and " Kil " 
of perverters of Gaelic, signifies a cemetery or 
burying-ground. Ii, in process of time, had gain- 
ed so much celebrity as a cell, or burying-place, 
that by and by it began to be known by that 
name alone ; but after the saint had been trans- 
lated and canonized, this Cill was, very naturally, 
called after him, nay, on every occasion, superin- 
duced to his name: thus — Coliimcille. The 


Gaelic scholar knows that a noun governed by a 
noun generally assumes the aspirated form; and 
also, thai two or more nouns in apposition must 
agree in case; — thus, Ii-choluni-ehille. 

4. li-skona, pronounced cc-hona, the sibilant 
being silent before the aspirate* Iishona — the 
blessed, or sacred isle.* Insula gancta, seu Divi 
Columbi,f &C. 

Some, even of our Celtic clergy, have etymo- 
logised Iona, "I-thonna" — the island of the waves ; 
but this is not the worst specimen of the effects 
of these clergy not being bound to study their 
vernacular language before license. There is no 
reason why it should in pre-eminence deserve the 
appellation of the island of the waves, its neigh- 
bour, Staffci, and even Tir-Ii being more the 
sport of the Atlantic. 

It were rather a wonder had superstition allow- 
ed Iona to pass without some epithet, such as 
blessed, or holy: we know that Lindisfern, al- 
though but the child of Iona, is, to this day, called 
Eilean naomh — the holy island. In course of the 
following pages, I shall, however, rest contented 
with " Iona," as being now the fashionable, and 
always a euphonious name. 

* Blessed art thou, O land — is sona thu a thir, Eccl. 10, 
17- Shona is the aspirated form. 

f Rerum Orcadens. Hist p. 153, et •• Heannarliadh Ii- 
cholum-chille, — " Inuis tha beannuichU cheana." 




" The sequestered Island of Iona," says a fair 
writer, is interesting to a picturesque eye, from 
its isolated situation, its panoramic views of the 
green isles of Tiree, Coll, the Tresnish Isles, and, 
above all, of that wonderful work of nature, the 
Basaltic -caved Staffa: here that sun, which rises 
and sets to all the world, sinks into the ' western 
wave' with peculiar beauty." Iona is about three 
miles in length, and one and a half in breadth. 
Its eastern coast is separated from the south-west 
of Mull, by a narrow sound of probably about 
half a mile. The surface of the island is low, 
rising into numerous irregular elevations, which 
seldom exceed 100 feet: its highest hill may be 
about 400. The population is from 450 to 500 
souls. Iona has been described by so many that 
I feel at a loss which account to copy. The 
reader will, perhaps, justify me in giving the pre- 
ference to Dean Munro and to Pennant, when I 
inform him that the one gives the most ancient, 
and the other the most copious account of any I 
have been able to meet with, 


Dean Munro, \n1h> wrote from actual inspection 
in the vcar I549j savs of Iona, — 

" Within this isle there is a monastery of 
mounckeSj and ane other of nuns, with a paroche 

kirke, and sundrie nther chapells, dotat of auld 
by the kings of Scotland, and bj C'landonald of 
the Iyles. 

" This abbay foresaid was the cathedra 11 kirk 
of the bishops of the Iyles, sen the tyme they 
were expulsed out of the Isle of Man. 

" Within this Isle of Kilmkill there is ane 
sanctuary also, or Kirkzaird, callit in Erishe, 
(Irish, Johnson's " Erse,") Relig Orain, quhilk 
is a very fair kirkzaird, and weill biggit about 
with staine and lyme. Into this sanctuary, there 
are three tombes of staine, formit like little cha- 
pels, with ane braide grey marble or quhin staine 
in the gavill of ilk ane of the tombes. In the 
staine of the ane tombe there is written in Latin 
letters, Tumulus Regum Scoti^e, that is, the 
tombe ore grave of the Scottes Kings: within 
this tombe, according to our Scottes and Erishce 
cronikles, ther laye Fortey-eight crouned Scotts 
Kings, through the quhilk this ile hes been richlie 
dotat be the Scotts Kinges, as we have said. The 
tombe on the south side forsaid hes this inscrip- 
tion, Tumulus Regum Hiberm.e; that is, the 
tombe of the Irland Kinges: for we have in our 
auld Erische cronikells that ther were four Irland 


Kings erdit in the said tombe. Upon the north 
syde of our Scottes tombe, the inscription bears, 
Tumulus Regum Norwegle, that is, the tombe 
of the Kinges of Norroway, and als' we find in 
our Erische cronikells, that Ccelus King of Nor- 
roway commandit his nobils to take his bodey and 
burey it in Colmkill, if it chancit him to die in 
the iles, bot he was so discomfitit that ther re- 
mained not so many of his armey as wald burey 
him ther ; therefor he was eirded in Kyles, after 
he stroke ane field against the Scotts, and was 
vanquisht be them. 

" Within this sanctuary also lye the maist pairt 
of the Lords of the Iles, with their lynage. Twa 
clan Leans, with ther lynage. M'Kynnon and 
M'Quarie, with ther lynage, with sundrie other 
inhabitants of the haill iles, because this sanctu- 
ary was wont to be the sepulture of the best men 
of all the iles, and als' of our kinges, as we have 

Mr Pennant, who wrote in the year 1769? 
forms here a very interesting continuation of the 
worthy Dean's description: — 

" Visit every place in the order that they lay 
from the village. The first was the ruin of the 
nunnery, filled with canonesses of St Augustine, 
and consecrated to St Oran. The church was 
58 feet by 20: the roof of the east end is entire, 
is a pretty vault made of very thin stones, bound 


together by lour ribs, meeting in the centre. 
Here we saw the tomb of the last prioress; her 
figure is cut on the face of the stone; an angel 

pn each side Supports her head, and above them 
is a little plate and a eonib. The prioress oc- 
cupies only one-half of the surface; the other is 
idled with the form of the Virgin Mary, with 
head crowned and miter ed; the child in her 
arms ; and, to denote the Queen of Heaven, a sun 
and moon appear above. At her feet is this ad- 
dress from the prioress: Sane t a Makia. ora pro 
me. And round the lady is inscribed — Hicjacet 
Domina Anna Donaldi Terleti JUia quondam 
Priorissa de IoNA, quae obiit ano. m° d° xi mo ; ejus 
an imam Altissimo commendamus. (Here lies the 
lady Anne, daughter of Donald M'Tearlach, 
formerly Prioress of Iona, who died in 1511, 
&c., whose soul we recommend to the Most 

"Mr Stuart, who sometime past visited this 
place, informed me, that at that time he observed 
this fragment of another inscription, Hie jacet 
MariotayF/m Johan: Lauchlini Domini dc * * * * 

" Besides this place of sepulture, was another 
on the outside, allotted for the nuns; win 
a respectable distance from the virtuous recluses* 
lii b in solitude, a frail sii 

•• Advance from hence along a broad paved 


way, which is continued in a line from the nun- 
nery to the cathedral; another branches from it 
to the Bay of Martyrs ; and a third, narrower 
than the others, points towards the hills. 

"On this road is a large and elegant cross, 
called that of Maclean, one of 360 that were 
standing in this island at the reformation,* but 
immediately after were almost entirely demolish- 
ed, by order of a provincial assembly, held in the 

" Arrive at Reilig Orain, a vast enclosure ; 
the great place of interment for the number of 
monarchs who were deposited here ; and for the 
potentates of every isle, and their lineage ; for all 
were ambitious of lying in this holy spot. The 
place is in a manner filled with grave-stones. 

" I was very desirous of viewing the tombs of 
the kings, described by the Dean of the isles, 
and from him by Buchanan: the former says, 
that in his time there were three, built in form 
of little chapels. (Here follows what I have al- 
ready quoted in the Dean's own words.) But of 
these celebrated tombs, we could discover nothing 
more than certain slight remains, that were built 
in a ridged form, and arched within ; but the in- 
scriptions were lost. These are called Iomaire 
nan High, or, the Ridge of the Kings. Among 

* Short Descr. of Iona, 1693 M.S. Adv. Library. 


these >toncs were found two stones, with Gaelic 

inscriptions, and the form of a cross carved on 

each: the words on one were. CTO% Dam/tail 

Jhtasich) i. e. the cross of Donald longshanks: 
the other signified the cross of Urchvine o'Guin. 

The letters were those of the most ancient Irish 

alphabet** Among the same stones is also the 
following: Hie jacenl quatuor Priores de — ex 
una oatione V. : Johannes^ Hugonius, Pctfricius: 

* The first of these two inscriptions, for which Mr Pen- 
nant was indebted to Mr Stuart, is certainly wrong given 
here. From an accurate drawing, made by James Logan, 
Esq., whose skill and fidelity in these matters are well 
known, it appears, that what is now legible, is but a frag- 
ment of a much larger inscription, in the old Gaelic char- 
acter, and ran thus : — " on domail fata," &c. Without 
entering into any minute detail on the subject, it may 
suffice to observe, that there exist strong grounds for be- 
lieving, that this is the fragment of the tombstone placed 
over Alexander Macdonald, the second of the Glengary 
line, who died by violence, and was certainly buried in 
Iieiliy Orain, the family burying-place, in 1461. No one 
of the inscriptions at Iona has been so much written of as 
that under consideration. One reverend and learned gen- 
tleman (Stat. Ace. Vol. X. p. 533), presuming, from er- 
roneous information, that the inscription was entire, and 
in Latin in place of Gaelic, reads it thus: M Mac-Donuill 
fato hie ;" and then remarks, "as much as to say, that 
fate alone could lay Macdonald here." — But enough of 
this. Of the accuracy of the second inscription, also 
furnished by Mr Stuart, we have at present no means of 

OF IONA. 1 1 

in decretis olim Bacularius alter Hugonius qui 
obiit an. Dom. miles mo quingentessimo.* 

" Mr Frazier, son to the Dean of the isles, 
informed Mr Sacheverel, governor of the Isle of 
Man, who visited Iona in 1688, that his father 
had collected 300 inscriptions, and presented 
them to the Earl of Argyle ; which were after- 
wards lost in the troubles of that family. 

" The chapel of St Oran stands in this space, 
which legend reports to have been the first build- 
ing attempted by St Columba. 

" In Oran's chapel are several tombs, and near 
it many more : within, beneath a recess, formed 
with three neat pointed arches, is a tombstone, 
with a ship and several ornaments. I forget 
whether the sails were furled: in that case the 
deceased was descended from the ancient kings of 
Man, of the Norwegian race, who used those 

* Mr Pennant remarks, that he is indebted for this in- 
scription to Mr Stuart, and adds, in a note, that part of 
the inscription was corrected by a friend. As printed, it 
is impossible to make sense of it; but we may conjecture, 
that originally it stood thus : " Hie jacent quatuor Priores 
de Hy, ex una natione, viz. Johannes, Hugonius, Patricius, 
in divinit. olim Bacularius, et alter Hugonius qui obiit an. 
Dora. 1500 :" That is, " Here lie four Priors of Iona, all 
of one clan, viz., John, Engine, Patrick, who was formerly 
Bachelor of Divinty, and a second Eugene, who died in 


u Near the south end is the tomb* of Abbot 
MackinnoD and his father, inscribed) — Ha?c est 
crux Lauchlini Mc, Fingon el ejus lilii Johannis 

Abhatis do Hy facta an. doni. m" cceclxxxix. — 
(This is the cross of Lachlan Mackinnon and his 
son John, Abbot of 1 1 v. erected 1489*) 

" Another of Macdonald of [slay and Kintyre, 

commonly called Innes, or Angus Og, the chief 
of the name. He was a strong friend to Robert 
Bruce, and was with him at the battle of Ban- 
nockburn. His inscription is, — Hie jacet corpus 
Angusii filii Domini Angusii McDomhill de Hay. 
(Here lies the body of Angus, son of Sir Angus 
M'Donald of Islay.) 

" In another place lies the gravestone of Ailean 
nan sop, a ceatharnach, or head of a party, of the 
name of Maclean; from whom is decended the 
family of Torloisg.^ The stone is ornamented 
with carving and a ship. 

* Mr Pennant should have said Cross. The tomb of 
Abbot Mackinnon is described at page 14. 

f Mr Pennant has been misled here. The family of 
Maclean of Torloisg, (now represented by Mrs Clephane 
Maclean of Torloisg,) derives its origin from Lanchlan, 
second son of that Lauchlan Maclean of Duart, commonly 
called Lauchlan Mor, who distinguished himself so much 
at the battle of Glenlivat in 1594, and was afterwards killed 
in Ila by Sir James Macdonald, in 1568. Ailean nan Sohp 
was granduncle to the first Maclean of Torloisg, and flour- 
ished in the reign of James V. 

OF IONA. 13 

" A Maclean of Coll appears in armour, with 
a sword in his left hand. A Maclean of Duairt 
with armour, shield, and two-handed sword. And 
a third of the same name, of the family of Loch- 
buy; (Eoghan a chinn bhig.) His right hand 
grasps a pistol, his left a sword. 

" Besides these, are numbers of other ancient 
heroes, whose very names have perished, and 
they deprived of their expected glory. 

" About 70 feet south of the chapel is a red 
unpolished stone ; beneath which, lies a nameless 
king of France. But the memory of the famous 
old Doctor of Mull has had a better fate, and is 
preserved in these words: Hie jacet Johannes 
Betonus MsLclenorum. familiae medicus, qui mor- 
tuus est 19 Novemb. 1651, Mt. 63. Donaldus 
Betonus fecit 1674. (Here lies John Beaton, 
Physician to the family of the Macleans, who 
died 19th November, 1651, aged 63; Donald 
Beaton erected this, 1674. 

" The cathedral lies a little north of this en- 
closure : it is in the form of a cross. The length 
from east to west is 115 feet; the breadth 23; 
the length of the transept 70. Over the centre 
is a handsome tower, on each side of which is a 
window, with stone work of different forms in 
every one. On the south side of the chancel are 
some Gothic arches, supported by pillars, 9 feet 
8 inches high, including the capitals ; and 8 feet 


{ j inches in circumference. The capitals are 
quite peculiar, carved round with various super- 
stitious figures; among others is an angel weigh- 
ing souls. 

" The altar was of white marble, veined with 
grey, and is vulgarly supposed to have reached 

from side to side of the chancel ; but Mr Saehe- 
verel, who saw it when almost entire, as.-urcs us, 
that the size was 6 feet by 4. 

" Near the altar is the tomb of the Abbot 
M'Kinnon. His figure lies recumbent, with this 
inscription round the margin: Hie jacet Johan- 
nes Mac Fingone abbas de Hy, qui obiit anno 
domini Millessimo quingentessimo cujus annus 
propitietur Deus Altissimus Amen. (i. e. Here 
lies John Mackinnon, Abbot of Iona, who died 
in 1500, to whose soul may God be merciful. 

" On the other side is the tomb and figure of 
the Abbot Kenneth. (Kenneth M'Kenzie, of the 
family of Kintail.) On the floor is the effigy of 
an armed knight, with a whilk by his side, as if 
he had just returned from the ' feast of shells' in 
the hall of Fingal. Near the south end is Mary's 

" The monastery lies behind the cathedral. It 
is iu a most ruinous state. In a corner are some 
black stones, held so sacred, that it was customary 
to swear by them, (because of Columbus' grave.) 

OF IONA. 15 

Boethius says, that this monastery, was built after 
the defeat of the Scots, at the battle of Mundi, 
a. d. 379- 

" North of the monastery are the remains of 
the Bishop's house. 

" To the west of the convent is the Abbot's 
mount, overlooking the whole. Beneath seem to 
have been the gardens, once well cultivated ; for 
we are told that the monks transplanted from 
other places, herbs both esculent and medicinal. 

" Beyond the mount is a square, containing a 
cairn, and surrounded with a stone dike. This 
is called a burial-place: it must have been in 
very early times ; cotemporary with other cairns, 
perhaps, in the days of Druidism, For Bishop 
Pocock mentions, * that he had seen two stones, 
7 feet high, with a third laid across on their tops, 
an evident Cromleac? " &c. — Thus far the amiable 
and accomplished Mr Pennant. 

Mr Lumsden of Glasgow, in his " Steam-Boat 
Companion," a most excellent work, says, " that 
within the principal entry to the demesne of 
Inverary Castle, there is a stone-cross, well deserv- 
ing the attention of the antiquarian. It was 
brought from Iona, after the reformation, and 
served for some time as the Town-cross of In- 
verary. The front and back are covered with 
hieroglyphics, neatly finished, and in a high state 
of preservation ; while the following inscription, 



tastefully executed, alto relievo, forms a very 
appropriate ornament for one of the sides : — Haec : 
est : crux : nobilium : videlich : Dondeani : Mac- 
gyflechomgnna : Patrici : Filii : eius : et : 
Mael more : Filii Patrici : Que : banc : crucem: 
Fieri : Faciebat: — i. e. This is the cross of 
noblemen, namely, Duncan Macgyllechomghnan, 
Patrick his son, and Maelmore the son of Patrick, 
who directed this stone to be made. 

Andrew of Winton has handed down to us, at 
least, one royal inscription. Writing of King 
Donald, he says, 

M In Icolmkill there lyes" lie, 

And there thir verses men may see," viz. 

Rex Donenaldus erat in Scotia quatuor annis 
In bello miles strenuus ille fuit 
Regis praidicti frater fuit ille Kenedi, 
Qui Sconae fertur subditus esse neci. 

Donald, who reigned over Scotland for four years : 
He was a valiant soldier, 
Brother of the said King Kenneth, who is said to have 
been put to death at Scone. 

This description, imperfect as it must be, will, 
I doubt not, stir up serious reflections in some 

minds "Weep on, O stranger! for he that is 

low was brave; and his soul, like your own, was 
a stream that flowed when the tale was mournful." 
But will sorrow recall the dead ? Will the 
cries of the living dispel their heavy slumbers? 

or iona. 1 7 

No! they still sleep on, they will not hear the 
sound of the pipe, they will not hear the voice, of 
Mactalla. But, traveller! they are only gone a 
little before thee and me, to the land of rest — a 
few more fleeting days on the silent swift-gliding 
stream of time shall pass, and another will occupy 
thy place and mine. 

I cannot, perhaps, conclude this chapter better 
than by an extract from the Rev. Leigh Rich- 
mond's letter to his lady from Iona, in the year 
1819. "Iona is delightful! You can form no 
idea of the characteristics of every thing and 
every body around me. The novelty, simplicity, 
and singularity, — the tout ensemble, is indescriba- 
ble. Here, amid the ruins of ancient grandeur, 
piety and literature, surrounded by the graves 
and mouldering grave-stones of kings, chieftains, 
lords of the isles, bishops, priests, abbesses, nuns, 
and friars, — the scene decorated with the fine and 
romantic remains of cathedral, colleges, nunnery, 
chapels, and oratories ; with views of islands, seas, 
rocks, mountains, interspersed with the humble 
huts of these poor islanders ! I am just prepar- 
ing to preach to as many of them as can under- 
stand English, in the open air ; — a rock my pulpit, 
and Heaven my sounding-board; — may the echo 
resound to their hearts." 





Ix giving the History of Iona, from the earliest 

period, one cannot avoid speaking for a little of 
Druidical times, seeing this interesting sect had 
a College or School of Theology in it for time 
immemorial, till expelled by St. Columba: hence 
the most ancient name of the island — Innis nan 
Druineach — the isle of the Druids. 

The term Druid is a corruption of the well- 
known Celtic word Druidh, a magician, conjurer , 
or philosopher. It is the word used in our Gaelic 
Bible for the magi, or " wise men," who came 
" from the East to Jerusalem," to worship the 
holy child Jesus. 

The Druids were the priests or clergy of the 
Celts. Their religion is allowed to have been of 
the same antiquity with that of the Magi of Persia, 
Brahmins of India, and Chaldees of Babylon and 
Assyria.* These all sprung from the religion of 

* Orig. contr. Cels. 1. b.—Dr Smith. 


OF IONA- 19 

Noah and of the antediluvians. Wherever the 
Celtic tribes, who were the posterity of Japhet, 
migrated, they carried this religion along with 
them, and in no country has it suffered so little 
change as in the Highlands and Islands of Scot- 
land, — so little, indeed, that it made Caesar assert 
that Druidism had its first rise in Britain. 

The peculiar situation of the Highlands of 
Scotland, together with the high value the in- 
habitants put upon Liberty, preserved them from 
being ever subjugated to a foreign yoke. The 
Roman gods, and Roman eagle, were alike unable 
to extend their reconnoitre over the mountains 
of Caledonia. Here, therefore, were raised no 
altars to their lame idols, — here were offered to 
them no sacrifices. God had hitherto permitted 
the scourge; but here, even at the Grampian 
hills, he remembered his gracious promise to 
Japhet.f This, then, accounts for the purity — 
the originality — the orientality of the Celtic 

The religion of the Druids being derived from 
Noah, we would expect to find it very simple : — 
one God, no temple, no image, an altar of either 
turf or stone, and an offering from the increase 
of the fold or the flesh. But, alas ! the idea of a 
pure spirit is too elevated for the grovelling mind 

* Gen. ix. 27. Ni Dia Japhet, a mlieudachadh. 


of fallen man: like Job, "he goes forward and 
cannot find him, backward and cannot perceive 
him;" some object, therefore, must be found out 
to represent Him. The Children of Israel fixed 

upon a C all" — hut the Druids of Iona were more 

noble: they fixed upon the sun, "the soul and 
eve of this great world," and very appositely 
called him Bea' uil, i. e. the source of all life.* 

The sect of the Druids embraced, at fewest, 
four grades; the Filea, or bard — the Seanachai, 
or genealogist — the Faidh, or seer — and the 
Cobhai, or Arch-Druid. Of the offices of these 
severally, their names are a sufficient comment. 
To the Arch-Druid, as to an oracle, every hard 
and doubtful case was referred, and from his 
judgment there was no appeal. The province of 

* Dr Smith's History of the Druids. — Pythagoras, whose 
philosophy bore a wonderful resemblance to that of the 
Druids, is represented expressly to have heard the Gauls 
and Brachmans, (see Clemens Alexandrinvs, Strom. 41.) 
Again, Diog. Laert. Ere. Aristotle, Borlase, p. 73, asserts, 
as an avowed and indisputable truth, that the philosophy 
of Greece originated with the Celtae. In my English 
translation of " Adam and Eve," I purpose to show, that 
every dark name in Greek mythology, to a general reader 
a sound without an idea, is a Celtic term. Our very learn- 
ing has led us into error upon the subject of etymology. 
It has tempted us to look for the rudiments of arts and 
science at those to whom we are indebted only for improvt - 
mod?, alterations) and corruptions* 

OF IONA. 21 

the bard was to celebrate the praises of heroes, 
and to immortalize their name in song: with 
his harp, and " the light of song," alternately, he 
excited in the minds of heroes a love for virtue 
and for glory. He also accompanied the warriors 
to the field, to inspire them to deeds of fame, 
and a contempt of death. 

" A king, in Druidical times," says Mr Walker,* 
" had a prince of the blood-royal for a companion, 
— a Brehon,f to consult in all critical cases, — 
a Druid to direct his conscience, — a chief Physi- 
cian to superintend his health, — a Seanaehai to 
consult in points of history and chronology, — a 
Filea, or bard, to rehearse his own praises, and 
those of his ancestors, — and an Ollamh-re-ceol, 
with harp, to soften his pillow." The Greeks, we 
find, by comparison, have borrowed a number of 
their manners from the Celts. The delegates 
sent by Agamemnon to Achilles found him play- 
ing on this instrument. 

" Amused, at ease, the god-like man they found, 
Pleas' d with the solemn harp*s harmonious sound : — 
With this he soothes his angry soul, and sings 
Th' immortal deeds of heroes and of kings," — Pope. 

Eocha, the twenty-fifth king of Scotland, was 
killed by a Harper who lay in his bed-chamber. 

* Walker's Irish Bardd. 

I Brehon, a judge, corrupted Baron. 


— Buchanan, Does this not remind ns of tin* 

narrative of King Saul, and his Jiha, David? 
Here I feel almost inclined to digress, and saj ■ 

word or two lor music*. My reason is, that some 
of my countrymen, i«_niorantlv, begin to suppress 
that noble species of it— the laments and pio- 
brachds of our hills! J have no doubt this will 
have the effect of causing the people to degenerate. 
Music is part of the mould in which the character 
of the mountaineer is formed. Music, even in- 
strumental music, is countenanced by God, both 
in heaven and on earth,* If a man, naturally 
rough, becomes, for the time, softened by music, 
and these times frequently renewed, habit may 
take place of nature, and that man's character 
will, to a certain degree, change. If this is 
true of any music, much more so of the war- 
like piob : its music forces its way irresistibly 
to the heart, and there diffuses an ecstatic delight, 
that thrills through every fibre of the frame, 
awakens sensibility, and agitates or tranquillizes 
the soul! I speak from experience. If by admir- 
ing and conversing with holiness, one is changed 
" from glory to glory," will the same law not 
hold in other things ? Is it not by admiring and 
taking a liking in evil, and in evil companions, 

* M The four and twenty elders fell down before the 
Lamb, having harps," frc Rev. v. 8. 

OF ION A. 23 

the half of our city youths are changed from mis- 
chief to mischief ? 

To say that music is incompatible with piety, 
therefore, is sheer bigotry — sheer ignorance. 

i • O Love ! Religion ! Music ! all 
That's left of Eden upon earth !" 

. The Druids had their high places and groves 
— their " circle of loda" and " stone of power" — 
their high feasts, and fiery ordeal.* The Arch- 
Druid wore a rod, called Slatan Drui 'eachd or 
magic wand, probably in imitation of that of 
Moses. The whole mystery or science was com- 
mitted to memory, but never to writing, and it 
took one about twenty years to finish his course 
of studies. Their precepts, notwithstanding, 
were very few and very simple, namely: — To 
reverence the Deity, abstain from evil, and behave 
valiantly. The Druids believed in the immor- 
tality of the soul ; but, as we may gather from old 
poetry, their idea of a future state was much 
mistified. Their heaven was called Flath-Innis, 
the island of the brave ; — the common term for 
heaven to this day in the Gaelic. This island, ac- 
cording to the Gaelic description of it, spread before 
the eye " like a pleasing dream of the soul ; where 

* Jacob offered sacrifice on the mount, Gen. xxxi. 54. 
Nor shall ye set up an image of stone in your land to bow 
down unto it, Lev. xxvi. 1. 


distance faded not on the Bight, and where near- 
ness fatigued not the eve. It had its gently slop- 
ing hills of green) nor <li<l it wholly want its 

clouds: hut the clouds were bright and transpar- 
ent; and each involved in its bosom the source 
of a stream, which wandering down the steep, was 
like the faint notes of the half-touched harp to 

the distant ear. The Valleys were open and free 
to the ocean; trees loaded with leaves, which 
scarcely waved to the light breeze, were scattered 
on the green declivities and rising grounds. The 
rude winds walked not on the mountains ; no 
storm took its course through the sky; all was 
calm and bright; the pure sun of autumn shone 
from his blue hall on the fields. He sat in his 
mid-day height and looked obliquely on this 
noble island. On the rising hill were the halls 
of the departed — the high-roofed dwellings of 

The Ifurin (I-bhroin), or hell of the Druids 
which, by the by, is the only word in our Gaelic 
Bible still for hell, signifies the island of sorrow. 
It was, of course, the reverse of the island of the 

The Druids, for some generations, had been 
at variance with the family of Fingal. In one of 
the poems ascribed to Ossian (but of which Fer- 
gus, the brother of Ossian, is the author), called 
^ Dargo, the son of Drui Bheil" we have an 

OF 10NA. 25 

account of a terrible conflict.* The commence- 
ment of this sublime poem shows that the Fingal- 
ians by this time began to contemn Druidism. 

" A sound comes by halves to my ear. It is 
like the voice of a wave that climbs the distant 
rock. It is the voice of Sruihan dorchds stream, 
murmuring, deep in the vale of oaks. In the 
bosom of its grove is the circle of stones. Dim 
unfinished forms sigh within their grey locks 
around it. The sons of the feeble hear the 
sound, and, trembling, shun the awful shadowy 
spot. The haunt of ghosts, they say, is there." 
Mark what follows : — " But your voices are no 
terror to the Bard, spirit of dark night, pale 
wanderers around your awful stones. No; I 
tried the strength of your arm when alive ; I lifted 
my spear in battle against your mighty Dargo — 
against the terrible son of Drui Bheil." 

Here, let me reflect, that Druidical as Ossian's 
poems are, they afford a lesson of charity even for 
Christians of the 19th century. Some religious 
denominations of our day leave no mercy for 
brethren of another sect, nor would they willingly 
be their companions in the next world. The 
feuds of the Fingalians ceased at death. " The 
feuds of other years, by the mighty dead, are 
forgotten. The warriors now meet in peace, and 

* " N sin cliaidh sirm an dail a clieile, 
Sloigh nan Druineach, 's siol na Feine."— Seann Dan. 


ride together on the tempest's wing. No clang 
of the shield, no noise of the spear is heard in 
their peaceful dwelling. Side by side they sit, 
who once mixed in battle their steel. There 
Lochlin and Morven meet at the mutual feast, 
and listen together to the song of the bards. Why 
thould they any more contend, when the blue 
fields above are so large, when the deer of the 
clouds are so many? They look down on the 
earth as they ride over it, and wonder why they 

I shall merely further remark, that all which 
goes to make the Highlander ridiculous, whether 
as regards witchcraft, incantations, prescience, 
and the like, is a remnant of Druidism. 

They were so close and so cunning that the 
honest and simple people were deceived by them. 
They had probably ventriloquists among them,* 
which art astonishes even in our own day, and 
which I, for my own part, believe to have been 
the famous oracle which bewildered worlds, lead- 
ing them to worship stocks and stones. It is 
generally believed also that the Druids were in 

* In English we have familiar Spirits, in Gaelic, Lean- 
nan sith, a fairy sweetheart. The Hebrew is schoel ob t 
and means a consultcr with a bottle of shin, because the 
person speaks with a hollow voice, as out of a bottle. The 
Greek calls them vcntriloquos. — Goodwin's Moses and Aaron, 
p. 175. 

OF ION A. 27 

some degree acquainted with the art of making 
gunpowder. At any rate, they possessed a num- 
ber of secrets which excited the admiration of 
the ignorant, by whom the supposed preternatu- 
ral knowledge of their priests was called Meur 
Bhe'ul, or the finger of their deity, which, by the 
by, is the root of the French word merveile, and 
of the English word marvel. 





From the brief sketch we have submitted of the 
Druidical religion, it may easily be conceived 
that the state of Scotland and Pickland, and all 
the other neighbouring " lands" was by no means 
enviable. The curse of " like people like priest," 
had fastened upon them — all that was once excel- 
lent had now dwindled down to superstition and 
will-worship. God's inscrutable and sublime 
method of salvation was unheard of and unknown, 
and our too credulous forefathers, consequently, 
were perishing for lack of knowledge. But we 
are now come to a more pleasing period in the 
history of Iona. 

In the year 563, one Colum M'Felim M'Fer- 
gus, Latinized Columba, a Scotsman,* set out 
from Ireland in a curach, and landed in the /Ebu- 
da3, or Hebride Isles: his crew consisted of 12. 
" These are the names," says a MS. in the Cot- 

* Adamnani Vit. Columb. lil>. i. 

OF IONA, 29 

ton Library, " of the men who passed over with 
Columba from Scotland, when he first went to 
Britain,* — Baithen and Comin; Cobhtach his 
brother, and Ernan his uncle; Dermit his ser- 
vant, Rui, Fethuo, Scandal, Mocutheimne, Echoid, 
Thorannu, Mocufir, and Cetea Ciarnan." 

Upon Colum' s landing at Port-a-Churaich in 
Iona, some Druids, in the habit of monks, ap- 
proached him, and pretended that they were also 
come to preach the gospel, and therefore request- 
ed him and his followers to give way ; but Colum 
discovered the imposture. 

According to the annals of Ulster and of Ti- 
ghernac,f which Archbishop Usher seems dis- 
posed to follow, Colum applied for protection to 
Conal, son of Comgal, king of the Dalriad Scots. 
Conal, being a near relation, not only protected 
Colum, but also made him a grant of Iona. Here 
he founded that monastery which for centuries 
continued to be the first seminary of learning in 
Europe. Spottiswood says, that even in Columba's 
own life-time, he founded 100 monasteries and 365 
churches, and ordained 3000 priests or monks ! 
These monks or priests were termed Gillean-De : 
sing. Gille-De — i. e. a servant of God, or follower 
of God; just the same as the followers of Christ 

* Vide Usher. 

t 573. " Conail MacComgail, qui obtulit insulam Hy~ 


were called Gillean Criosd, or Christians, at 
Antiock From this term (lillc-I)t\ the perverters 
of Gaelic have made out " Kelede," " Keledeus," 
" knldee," &c.* To the last of these, however, 
I must, for the sake of perspicuity, adhere. 

Monastic establishments were now the order of 

the dav. Oransav, the island which Columha's 
curdch made out first, was made the second suh- 
ject of a church and monastery, and next to it 
probably Crusay, Hinba, Tir-Ii, Col, Bonaw, &c. 
Cill-Ighean-Aoidh in Coll, where the ruins of a 
monastery may be seen, must have been a nunnery, 
I think, over which the daughter of Aodh and 
sister of St Colgan presided. 

The influence which religion had on the minds 
and manners of men was, in the mean time, very 
great. It reached even to the palaces of kings, 
and some princes have preferred an heavenly to 
an earthly crown. Constantine, king of Corn- 
wall, united himself with Columba — renounced an 
earthly kingdom, and became preacher of the 
gospel. With his wealth he founded a monastery 
of brethren at Govan. on the banks of the Clyde, 
two miles below Glasgow, over which he was 
Abbot. He suffered martyrdom for the faith in 
Kintyre, and was buried in his own monastery at 

* If historians would acquaint themselves with our alpha- 
bet alone, it wouM assist them much in their etymologies. 

OF IONA. 31 

Govan.* Columba, who meanwhile had esta- 
blished several monasteries and religious houses, 
and converted most of the western isles round 
about Iona, directed his attention to the Picts. 
For some time he took up his residence in the 
court of Brudius at Inverness, where he met with 
a petty prince of the Orkneys. Here he gained 
so much favour that his beloved son in the faith, 
Cormac, was offered protection in those regions 
of whales, and allowed to preach the doctrine of 
the Cross, to the overthrow of blind idolatry. 

The establishment of the Culdees was divided 
into colleges or monasteries. In each of these 
there were twelve brethren, with an abbot, who 
had supreme authority over the rest, whilst all 
were under the control of the Abbot of Hy, or 
Iona. — nay, the whole Scottish nation, as an eccle- 
siastical body, even bishops themselves.*)* " The 
Abbot and Culdees of 'Hyona' gained so much 
on the favour and esteem of the people, that, even 
in their cloistered retreats, they were at the head 
of all civil, as well as ecclesiastical matters."*j: 

The number and distances of the churches, 
which were dedicated to Columba, are proofs in 
confirmation of Bede, Adamnan, and Innes, of the 
extent of the authority and influence of Iona. Let 

* Scotichronicon, lib. iii. c. 26. 
t Bede, Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. ch. 3. 
J Lowe's Hist, of Scotl. p. 320. 


the reader bear with me while I enumerate a few, 
viz : Cill-cholum-chille, the oldest burying-ground 
in Morren — Cill-cholum-chille, in South Kintyre 
— Cill-cholum-chille, in Mull — Cil-cholum-chille, 

in islav — Cill-cholum-chille, in North list — Cill- 
cholum-chille, in Benbicula — Cill-cholum-chille, 
in Skye — Cill-cholum-chille, in Sutherland — Co- 

lum-cill, in Lanark — Colum-cille Isle, in Lewis 
— Colum-cille Isle, in Loch-colum-cille, whereon 
are the remains of a monastery dedicated to ( <>- 
lumba — Inch, or rather Innfa-cholum, in the Frith 
of Forth, on which a monastery was founded — 
Eilean-cholum, a small island in Tongue parish 
— St Colum Kirk, in Sanday, in Orkney — St 
Columns Isle, in the Minch — Kirk Cholum, in 
Wigtonshire.* " Kirk cubrith, in Galloway," 
says Hay, " belonged to the men of the Monastery 
of Iona."f Kirk-cubrith is a corrupted term for 

Abernethy monastery, about eight miles from 
Perth, was long a celebrated seat of the Culdees. 
William the Lion, in gifting the half of the tithes 
proceeding from this property, to the noble Abbey 
of Abcrbrothic, leaves the other moiety, quam 
habetunt keledci, in possession of the Culdees. 

The monastery of Dunkeld was also a splendid 
Culdean seminary. Alexander Myln, a canon of 

* Vide Stat. Ace. t S<* 

OF IONA. 33 

Dunkeld, afterwards Abbot of Cambuskenneth, 
wrote an account of the lives of the Bishops of 
this see, still extant among the MSS. in the Ad- 
vocates' Library. He says, that " Constantine, 
King of Picts, from his devotion to St Columba, 
at this time patron of the whole kingdom, founded 
and endowed an illustrious monastery here. In 
this monastery, he placed those religious called 
Keldees? These were supplied from Iona by 
Doncha, the then abbot. 

Kilrimont, or St Andrew's, was founded about 
the year 825, "by King Hungus, for the benefit 
of the Keldees." * The Ulster Annals, under the 
year 872, state the death of Bishop Colman, the 
abbot of this monastery. There must have been 
also a company of Guldees at Kirk-culdee, called 
by our ear- writers Kirkaldy. 

When once the fire of grace is kindled in the 
soul, the happy subject must speak out, and his 
desire to do good to souls knows no limits. Iona 
now began to review her more distant neighbours. 
She saw the Picts and the Saxons bewildered 
in superstition. Stories of dreams, visions, and 
miracles, were sedulously propagated by the clergy 
and implicitly believed by the laity. A journey 
to Rome was thought the direct road to heaven, 
— hard watching, and bodily torments, were con 

* Jamieson's Hist. 

34 BI8TORIC M. \( < 01 N i 

sidered necessary to save the soul, — and the most 
flagitious sinner no sooner put on the weeds of 
Dominic, than the sins of his former life were 
believed to be cancelled. Iona saw this,* and 
under the protection of King Oswald of Xorthum- 
bria, who himself had imbibed the true religion 
while in exile in Iona,f sent Aldan, with twelve 
disciples. By this eminent teacher, the interests 
of virtue and religion were much advanced. The 
monks who accompanied him instructed the youth 
in all the branches of learning*, and built monas- 
teries and churches throughout the country. So 
rapid indeed was the progress which Christianity 
made here, that Aidan, with King* Oswald inter- 
preting his energetic Gaelic, baptized, in seven 
days, 15,000 persons! J 

Aidan was appointed first bishop of Eileari 
naomh, or Holy Island. 

The Picts who lived upon the Tweed were next 
the object of their high-toned charity. To these 
Aidan sent JEata, one of the twelve he took with 
him from Iona, and who was instrumental in 
bringing them over to the faith of the gospel. It 
was Eata, under Aidan, that laid the foundation 
of that famous institution, the monastery of Maol- 

• Vide Bede. 

f Aidan was Bent by Segenius, the fifth abbot horn ( '< 
i-miba — Bede t lib. iii. c. 35. 
: / ide Bede, lib. iii. 

OF IONA. 35 

rots, or Melrose.* Of this monastery Eata him- 
self was first abbot: he was succeeded by the 
pious and learned Boisil, who again was succeeded 
by the celebrated St Cuthbert. This Cuthbert, 
" The Histories of the Irish " say, Columba took 
when a boy, and kept and educated for some time 
together with a girl named Bridget, afterwards 
St Bride. 

The English began by this time to take instruc- 
tion from these doves of Iona, and in a few years, 
some eminent scholars were produced. Macduff, 
a learned Celt, or Scot, instituted the monastery 
of Malmesbury. This monastery afterwards be- 
came famous under Aldhelm, a pupil of Macduff, 
and the first Englishman who wrote Latinf . Se- 
genius, second abbot of Iona, founded about the 
same time the Church of Rechran, and appointed 
a pastor to it.J 

Aidan having now gone to receive the well- 
done of his master, the College of Iona ordained 
and sent Finan to succeed him as Bishop of Lin- 
disfern, or Holy Island. He also took twelve 
disciples with him, of whom were Cedda, Adda, 
Betti, &c. These converted the middle Angles, 
Mercians, and East Saxons, whose chief city was 
London, and instructed them in the liberal arts. 

* Bede, lib. iii. c. 26. 

t Cave, Hist. Lit. Secul. 7. A.D. 680. 

t Clii Seganii Abbatis Iae filii Tiachra. 

36 HISTORIC w. \< < OUNT \ 

Cedda was Bishop of Winchester, and in the 
year 670 of Litchfield.* It was the knowledge 
of this, probably, that made Dr Johnson speak so 
warmly of Iona, Litchfield being his native place. 
Final) was succeeded by Colman and Tudo, who 
were both from Iona. 'The famous dispute at 
Whitby in Yorkshire.")" about the observance of 
Master, took place at that time, between this 
Colman and Williired, a papist, from the Vatican. 
It will perhaps be a digression desirable, to give 
here a glance at the case — A public dispute 
being condescended upon, the question was an- 
nounced from the chair, viz., " Which is the best 
and most ancient form of keeping Easter?" Col- 
man pleaded, that the Easter he observed he 
received from his Elders at Iona, who had sent 
him thither, and who themselves had it from St 
John the Evangelist, and all the disciples of the 
Lord, &c. His opponent pleaded, that Columba 
was not equal to Peter, the prince of the apostles, 
unto whom the Lord said, " Thou art Peter : and 
upon this rock I will build my Church, and I will 
give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," &c. 
Upon this, Oswi, the king, taking hold of the 
last words, asked Colman if it was so, that the 

* Bede, lib. iv. c. 2 

f The nature of the dispute was — Whether the ordinance 
of the Supper took place upon the passing of the Son of 
God from life to death, or on the day of his crucifixion. 

OF IONA. 37 

Lord had spoken these words unto Peter ? Colman 
answered that he did. And can you show, said 
the king, that the like authority was given to 
your father Columba? Colman answered in the 
negative. Then, said the king, seeing Peter is 
the door-keeper of heaven, I will follow his rule ; 
lest, when I come to heaven-gate, the door will 
be shut against me. This speech of the king was 
applauded by the majority of the hearers, and the 
victory adjudged to the opponent of Colman. 

Colman, unwilling to compromise his princi- 
ples, resigned and came home to Iona. Bishop 
Leslie says, that afterwards he went to Germany, 
Hungary, and Greece, preaching ; and that, 
returning by Austria, he was killed by Pagans. 
None of the readers of this little book, I trust, 
will feel inclined to rest upon Oswi's opinion. 
Heaven has literally no keys : the language is 
metaphorical. The kingdom of heaven here 
means the Jews and believers in Christ, to which 
kingdom Peter was to introduce Gentiles. 

Observing now the Continent groping her way 
by the taper of Aristotelian and Platonic philoso- 
phy, and the liberal arts suppressed, even by law, 
at Athens, Columbanus, a Scotsman, educated 
under Convellanus, Abbot of Iona, was sent 
thither, with twelve disciples, as usual. He soon 
extirpated the superstition of Gaul, where he 
founded the Abbey of Leuxeville, near Basconan, 


where lie himself presided as Abbot for twenty 
Years.* A continental writer says, that he 
14 filled those regions with monasteries." Among 
the twelve who accompanied him from Iona, were 
Giles, who became famous in Switzerland, and 
Ionas, who became an Abbot, and wrote the life 
of Columbanus. 

Catahlus, u a native of Hyona," left his paternal 
abode about the year 570, on a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem ; whence he went to Italy, and was 
ordained Bishop of Tarentum. He succeeded at 
length to a Professorship at Geneva.! 

Scotland had by this time received from sur- 
rounding nations the proud epithet of " Learned 
Scotia ;" and graduates from the University of 
Iona were much in demand. Spottiswood records, 
that " Charles the Great earnestly entreated King* 
Achaius, who sent him Joannes Scotus, Claudius 
Clemens, Flaccus Albinus, and Rabanus Maurus. 
These four he sent with Gulielme his brother, 
and by them it was that the University of Parm 
was founded !\ Scotus was by the same Charles 
employed for founding a University at Pavia," 
in Austrian Italy. To enumerate the monks and 
abbots sent from Iona to Ireland would make this 

* Yide Lesly de Gest. Scot. p. 144, et Murator Antiq. 
torn. iii. p. 826. 

f Vide Dempst. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. p. 163. 
X Vide Spottiswood et Jamicson. 

OF IONA. 39 

chapter too long. Colgan particularizes 56, and 
Dr Smith speaks of more. The most famous of 
them, I presume, was Gildas Albanus, who suc- 
ceeded to the Monastery of Armagh. He trans- 
lated the Mulmutine laws, out of the Celtic 
language into Latin, which were afterwards 
written in the English tongue by King Alfred. 

St Giles, who had his education under Abbot 
Convellanus, in the beginning of the sixth century, 
and who accompanied his countrymen, Colum- 
banus, to Gaul, was eminent in those regions. 
In Switzerland he converted several thousands to 
the Christian religion. The inhabitants of that 
quarter were so struck with the simplicity, and 
the strictly moral lives of the Culdees, that the 
successors of Giles in the monastery were made 
princes of the empire.* Several churches were 
erecte to the memory of this St Giles, among 
which was the Cathedral of Edinburgh.^ 

Ebba, the daughter of Edelfrid, king of Nor- 
thumbria, having been, with her seven brothers, 
in exile at Hyona, was baptized to Christ. This 
princess founded and endowed the monastery of 
Coilledu% now Coldingham. Ebba was here 
chosen Abbess of the institution, which was 
neither a nunnery nor a monastery. Differing 

* Cave, Hist. Liter., author of some epistles on the 
choice of a bishop. 

f St Jonas, in Vit. St Columbanus. 


from the directress of former establishments of 
the kind, the authority of the abbess extended 
not only over the nuns, but also over the abbot 
and monks.* This office resembles one held by 
Maclean the 1st of Du'airl oyer Iona in the year 
1390) of which hereafter. 

The worship of images became at this time a 
matter of controversy with the learned. Albin, 
or Albinos, already mentioned, wrote a treatise 
upon this subject under the name of Charlemagne, 
when he was his domestic servant, against the 
proceedings of the Council of Nice.f He taught 
a public school for several years at Pavia ; and 
became, as formerly mentioned, the founder of 
that University. He also published a Confession 
of Faith, and wrote the famous Caroline Book's. J 

In the disputes which now r agitated the world, 
St Clement from Iona, also already mentioned, 
held a high rank. When the most of Europe 
was debased by superstition, and merging into 
barbarism again, he boldly stood forth the cham- 
pion of Christianity. In the end of the eighth 
century, he wrote a book against image worship. § 

Joannes Scotus Erigena, a native of Ayrshire, 
was the first philosopher of his day. (Iona, it 

• Bede, lib. iv. c. 25. 

f Vide Roger Hoveden, Ann. Francof. 1601. 
\ Confessio Fidei per Chiffl. edit: 1651. 
§ M. du Pin, Nouvtl. Bib. des Aut. 


may be recollected, had lands in Galloway, where 
the Gaelic was spoken till the 16th century. — 
Buchanan.) Scotus corresponded with Charles 
the Bald of France, who intrusted him with the 
superintendence of his seminaries. During this 
time he wrote several learned books, and became 
the father of scholastic divinity.* His translation 
of some comments of Maximus upon St Denys, 
was much the admiration of the age.f Having 
noticed these, it would be unfair to say nothing 
of their fellow, Rabanus Maurus, who also was an 
eminent scholar. He became Archbishop of 
Mentz, and wrote large commentaries upon the 
Sacred Scriptures, together with "a Treatise 
upon the Vision of God," in MS.f 

The love for the monastic life had meanwhile 
increased, rather than abated. Loarn, probably 
a descendant of that royal house, had retired from 
the bustle of the world, and died Abbot of Cluona. 
An institution of the same kind had been formed 
in Bute, over which Cormac MacAillila was 
now Abbot.§ He planted the gospel in Cowal, 
and all around him. 

As a seat of learning, Iona, even in the seventh- 
century, was in advance of any other in Europe ; 
and its superiority, in this respect, was acknow- 

* Gulielm. Malmesb. de Gest. Reg. 
•J Typis impressa Oxon. 1681, fol. \ 
% Vide Mabillon. § Vide Uls. Annals, 763. 


leged by the monasteries of Ireland, as well as by 
those of the Picts, Scots, and Britons. 

Lone isle ! though storms have round thy turrets rode — 

Though their red shafts have sear'd thy marble brow — 

Thou wert the temple of the living God, 

And taught earth's millions at his shrine to bow. 

Though desolation wraps thy glories now, 

Still thou wilt be a marvel through all time 

For what thou hast been ; and the dead who rot 

Around the fragments of thy towers sublime 

Once taught the world, and sway'd the realm of thought, 

And ruled the wariors of each northern clime. 

Around thee sleeps the blue sky ; and the sun 
Laughs — and will laugh for aye on thy decay. 
Thour't in the world like some benighted one — 
Home of the mighty — that have passed away ! 
A thousand years upon the world have done 
Dreadful destruction ! yet a happier day 
Once blcss'd thy sacred mansions — and the ray 
Of Christianity blazed forth, and won 
The Druid from his darkness ; from thee rau 
That fire which lit Creation in her youth, 
That turned the wandering savage into Man. 
And show'd him the omnipotence of truth. 

Hail, sainted isle ! thou art a holy spot, 

Engraven on all hearts ; and thou art worth 

A pilgrimage, for glories long gone by, 

Thou noblest College of the ancient earth. 

Virtue and truth, — Religion self shall die, 

Ere thou canst perish from the chart of fame, 

Or darkness shroud the halo of thy name ! — Moore, 

OF IONA. 43 



Lv the preceding chapter, I have submitted a com- 
pendius view of the christianizing operations of 
Iona. In this I will submit, 

1 . A list of some of the most eminent of Columba's 

immediate disciples. 

2. A chronicle of some events connected with the 

Monastry of It, or Iona, from the Annals of 
the four Masters, of Ulster, Colgan, <§'<?. 

(The twelve who came with Columba at first to Iona 
are marked thus.*) 

St Aidan, or Aodhan, son of Libher, afterwards 

Bishop of Lindisfarne. 
St Aidan, son of Rein, Abbot of Couiluisc. (There 

are 27 saints of this name.) 
St Ailbhe, son of Ronan. 
St Aonghas, or Angus of Dermach. 
> St Baithan of Doire-chalguich. 
St Beathen, son of Brendon, Abbot of Hi. 
St Barrind, Abbot of Cill-barrind. 


St Becan, son of Ernan, brother of Cumin. 

St Bee, or Beg-bhille, bod of Tighearnach. 
10 St Berachj a monk of Hi, Abbot of Cluainchorp. 

St Berchan, or Barchan* Adam% III. 21. 

St Bran, nephew of Columba. 
* St Carnaiij son of Branduth. 

St Ceata, supposed to be the Bishop ( leadan of Bcde. 
15 St Ceallach, Bishop of the Mercians in England. . 

St Cobhran, nephew of Columba* 

St Cobhtach, son of Brendan, and brother of St 

St Colgan of Cill-cholgain, in Connan-ht. 
20 St Colgan, son of Aodh, a Culdce of Hi. 

St Colgan of Darmagh. 

St Colinan, or Columan. 

St Colman, Abbot of Hi ; and afterwards of Lin- 

St Colman, son of Combgell ; who died 620. 
25 St Colman, Abbot of Rechran. 

St Colman, son of Euan. 

St Colman, son of Tighearnach. 

St Colman, son of Ronan. 

St Colum Crag, of Erach in Ulster. 
30 St Coman, or Comhan, brother to St Cumins. 

St Comgan, sister's son of Columba. 

St Connall, Abbot of Innes-caoil, Ireland. 

St Cona, or Conan, son of Tighearnach. 

St Conacht, son of Moaldraighneach. 
35 St Conrach M'Kein, of Dermach monastery. 

St Constantin, King of Carnubia, or Cornwall, 
said by Fordun to have presided over the monastery 
of Goran, upon Clyde. 

OF IONA. 45 

St Cormac, Abbot of Darmagh. 

St Corman, the first missionary to the Northum- 
brians: Flourished a.d. 630. 

St Cuanan, Abbot of Cill-chuanain. 
40 St Cuan, or Coan, son of Tighearnach. 

St Cuchumin M'Kein, Abbot of Hy. 

St Cumin, the Fair, Abbot of Hy? who wrote 
Columba's life. 

St Dachonna, Abbot of Eas-mac-nearc. 
45 St Dermit, of the descendants of K. Leogairee 

St Dalian Forguill, formerly a Bard. 

St Dima, afterwards Bishop of the Mercians ► 

* St Eochadh, or Eochadh Torannan. 

St Enna, son of Nuadhan, Abbot of Imleachfoda. 

* St Ernan, uncle to Columba,and Abbot of Himbo. 
50 St Ernan, Abbot of Drim-tuam in Tir-chonail. 

St Ernan, Abbot of Torrachan, of the race of K. 

St Ernan, of Teach Ernain. 
B. Eoghan, or Eoghanan. 
St Failbhe, Abbot of Ii. 
55 St Farannan, Abbot of all Farannain. 
St Fiachna of Achaluing, Ethica. 
St Fechro, son of Rodan : Flourished 580. 
St Fergna, Abbot of Hy. 
60 St Finan, Abbot of Towrd, near Dublin. 
St Finan, Abbot of Roth. 
St Finan, Abbot of 3fagh-chasgain. 
St Finan, an anchorite ; supposed by some to be 

the same with the preceding. 
St Finan, who succeeded Aidan, as Bishop of Eilean 

naomh, or Holy Island. 


65 St Finbarr, Abbot of Drim Cholum, Ireland. 
Si Finchan, Abbot of Ard-chaoin. 
St Finlugan, a Cuidee of 1 1 \ . 

St l'iiitcn. Mm of Aodh, founder of the Monastery 
of Caille-Abhind. 

B. Gcnere, or Gueren, a Saxon, taught at Ii. 
70*St Grellau, son of Redan, &c 

St Hilary, brother to St Aidau. 

St Lasran, Abbot of Darinagh. 

St Lasran, called Gardener. 

St Lasran, son of DeagJiilli. 
15 St Lasar, son of llonan. 

St Libhran, from Connaught. 

St Loman, of Loch-uair. 

St Luga Ceanaladh, a monk of Hy. 
* St Lagaide of Cluanlargh. 
80 St Lugaid, Abbot of Cluain finchioll. 

St Lugair, Laidir, of Tir-do-chraoibh. 

St Lughe M' Cumin, a monk of Hy ; afterwards 
Abbot of Eilean Naomh. 

St Lughe M'Blai', a monk of Aoi. 

St Lughne M' Cumin, brother to St Lughe. 
85 St Lughbe M'Blai', brother to Lughe. 

St Mernoc, or Manioc, probably founder of Kil- 
marnoc Monastery. 

St Mini, sister's son of St Cohunba. 

St Maolchus, brother to St Marnoc. 

St Maoldubh, of Cluin-chonair. 
90 St Maoldubh, son of Enan. 

St Moab, his brother. 

B. Maoleomha, son of Aodli M'Aimirich, rich, 
who from a king became a monk. 

OF IONA. 47 

St Maol-orain, a monk of Aoi. 

B. Maolumha, son of Beothan, K. of Ireland, a 
monk of Aui. 
95 St Mochana, son of Fiachna, K. of Ulster, after- 
wards a Pictish bishop. 

* St M'Cuthen, said by Usher to have wrote the 

Life of St Patrick. 
St Moluan, a monk of Aoi. 
St Moluc, of the race of Conal Gulban, Bishop of 

Lismore ; died 588. 
St Mothorian, Abbot of Drimchlaibh. 
100 St Munna, Abbot of Teach- Mhunna. 
St Pilo, an Anglo-Saxon, taught at Hi. 
St Oran, the first of a The order of Columba," 

who was buried at Hi : Reilig Orain is called 

after him. 
St Ossin, Abbot of Cluan-mhor. 

* St Bus, or Russen, " de insulis Pictorum" 
105 St Scandal, Abbot of Cillchobhrain. 

St Segin, son of Fiachri, Abbot of Hi. 
St Segin, son of Ronan, Abbot of Bangor, 664* 
St Senach, half-brother of Columba, Abbot. 
St Senan, a monk of Darmagh. 
110 St Sillean, son of Neman, a monk of Hi. 
St Suine, son of Curte, Abbot of Hi. 
St Ternoc, of Ari-na-nolt in Ulster. 

* St Torannan, afterwards Abbot of Bangor. 
St Trenan M'Rintir, Monk of Hi. 

115 B. Tulchan, father of St Munna, who followed his 
sons to Ii, or Hyona. 
Here are 115 of Columba's disciples — his im- 
mediate disciples, sainted. To follow them up 


would make a volume of itself. Those who wish 
to kn<»w more about them, may consult that rare 
book, Triadis Thawnaturgae, fyc, from which I 
am just copying a most interesting 

Chronicle of some events connected with Ii, or Iona ; 
translated from the (tat fie or Erisclic of the four 
Masters,* into the Latin of Cohjan, §'c. 


560. Si Columba arrived in Hi, on Pentecost Eve. 

563. St Oran dies, 27th of October. 

572. Connal, King of the Scots, who gave Hi to Col- 
umba, died. 

574. The great Council of Drimceat was held. At this 
Court Columba was ambassador from Scot- 
land, and was made Primate of all the Irish 
Churches. It was at this time he saved the 

583. Brudi, son of Malcaoin, King of the Picts, died. 

597. (The West annals say 594 !) St Columba, the 
apostle of Albin, died, aetat. 77. 

600. St Baithen, son of Brendan, Abbot of Hi, died. 

C01. St Lasran, son of Feradach, Abbot of Hi, died. 

622. St Eergnu, surnamed the Briton, Abbot of Hi, 

635. St Aidan (M' Libber) and others, set out for 
England from Iona, at the desire of King ( )-- 
wald, to convert his people to Christianity. 

651. St Segin, son of Fiachra, Abbot of Hi, died. 

651. St Aidan, Bishop or Abbot of Lindisferne, in 

* Where not otherwise marked, the quotations arc pre- 
sumed to be from the Annals of the four Masters. 

OF ION A. 49 

England, died. (A number of his successors, 
as Cellach, Fintan, Colman, &c> were from 

654. St Suine, son of Curte, Abbot of Hi, died. 

660. St Colman became Abbot of Hi, but soon after 
went to be Abbot of Lindisfarne, which he 
resigned in 664, and returned to Hi. 

668. St Cumin the Fair, Abbot of Hi, the biographer 
of Columba, died. 

677. St Failbhe, Abbot of Iona, died. 

-684. St Adamnan, Abbot of Iona, goes to reclaim 
from the Anglo Saxons some captives and 
plunder, — was honourably received, and ob- 
tained all he wanted. 

•<>86. St Adomnan, on a second embassy, got 60 cap- 
tives restored from the Saxons to Ireland. 

'695. St Adomnan holds a Synod in Ireland ; the acts 
of which are called " The Canons of Adom- 
)3. St Adoman, or Adamnan, Abbot of Iona, and 
biographer of Columba, died aetat. 78. 
"708. St Conail, son of Failbhe, Abbot of Iona, died. 

710. St Caide, or Caidan, Abbot of Iona, died. 

713. St Dorbhen Fada, Abbot of Iona, died. 

714. St Faolchuo, son of Dorbhen M'Teine, made 
Abbot of Iona, aetat. 14,. 

'714. The family of Iona expelled beyond Drim-Albhh 

by Nectan, King of the Picts. 
716. St Duncha, son of Ceannfaolai, Abbot of Iona, 

died ; and Faolchuo, who had resigned his 

office to him, again resumes it. 
720. St Faolchuo, son of Dorben, Abbot of Iona, died* 



725. St Killean, or perhaps Gillean, surnamcd Facta* 

Abbot of Iomt, died. 
729. St Egbert or Egberht, who had remained 13 

years in Iona, died. 
744. Many of the people of Iona perilled in a great 

747. St Killean, or Gillean, Abbot of Iona, died. 
754. St Failhhe II., Abbot of Iona, died, actat. 87. 
702. St Slebhen, son of Cong-hall, Abbot of Iona, died. 
765. Beatus Nial, surnamed Frasach, King of Ireland, 

who had abdicated his kingdom, and had been 

for eight years in Iona, died. 
767. St Suine II., Abbot of Iona, died; Ulster An- 

nals say 771. 
777. St Murcha, or Murdoch, son of Huagal, Prior 

of Iona, died. 
786. B. Artgal M'Catheld, King of Connaught, who 

had abdicated, died in pilgrimage in Iona, in 

the eighth year of his pilgrimage. 
793. Devastation of all the isles by foreigners. 
797. St Bresal, son of Seigen, for 30 years Abbot of 

Iona, died. 
— — St Conmhall, Abbot of Iona (Scriba Selectissi- 

mus,) died. 
797. Iona burnt by foreign pirates. 
801. Iona again burnt by pirates, and many of the 

family destroyed in flames. 
805. Of the family of Iona, 68 killed by foreigners. 
810. St Ceallach, son of Conghall, Abbot of Iona, 

815. St Constantin, King of the Picts, builds the 

church of Dunkeld. 

OF IONA. 51 

816. St Dermit, Abbot of Iona, goes to Albin with 
Columba's coffer or box. 

823. St Blamhac, son of Flanni, Abbot of Iona, slain. 

827. Ungust II., or Hungus, King of the Picts, found- 
ed Kilrimont. (St Andrews.) 

843. Kenneth M' Alpin, after his conquest of the Picts, 
removes from the West to the East coast. 

848. Iurastach, Abbot of Iona, goes to Ireland with 

Calumkille's sacred things. 

849. Kenneth the III., transported the relics of 

Columba to his new church, (probably Aber- 

852. Amhlaibh, or Aulay, King of Lochlin, came to 

Ireland, and laid it under tribute. 

853. The Coarb of Colum-cille, a wise and excellent 

man, martyred among the Saxons. 

863. St Cellach, son of Ailild, Abbot of Iona, died 

in the land of the Cruthens. 

864. Tuathal M' Artgusa, Archbishop of Fortren, and 

Abbot of Dancaillein, (Dunkeld) died. 
875. St Columba's box is carried to Ireland, lest it 

should fall into the hands of the Danes. 
877. B. Ferrach M'Corrnaic, Abbot of Iona, died. — 

Ulster Annals say 879. 
890. St Andrews about this time made independent on 

Iona, by King Grig. — Reg. S. And. 
890. St Flan, or Flanna, son of Maolduine, Abbot of 

Iona, died : in pace dormivit. 
925. St Maolbride, son of Dornan, Co'arb of SS. Pat. 

Col. & Adomnan, died. 
935. St Aonghas, or Angus, coadjutor of the Abbot 

of Iona, died. 


937. Dubharbj CVarb of Colum-cille, and Adomnan, 

rested in peace. 
945. St Caoinchomrach, Abbot of lona, died. 
958. Diibli-dhuii), Co'arb of Colum-cille, died. 
964. St Fingin, Bishop of lona, died. 
978. St Mugron, a bishop, scribes and notable teacher, 

Burnamed Nantri-rann, Co'arbof Colum-cille 

in Ireland and Scotland, died. 

980. Amhluabh, Aulaf, or Aulay,sonofSitrie, Prince 
of the Normans of Dublin, after his defeat in 
the battle of Temtarahoraj took refuge in 
lona, where he died. — Ulster Annals. 

985. The island of lona pillaged on Christmas Eve 
by the Normans, who killed the Abbot and 
15 of the learned of the Church. 

997. Patrick, GVarb of Ceelum-cille, died, actat. 83. 

988. Duncha, or Duncan, Co'arb of CVlum-cille, died^ 
1004. B. Maolbride, Hua Rimed, Abbot of lona, died. 

1009. Martin M'Cineadh, GVarb of Ccelum-cille, died. 

1010. Murdoch, Co'arb of SS. Columba and Adam- 

nan, an eminent Professor of Theology, died. 
1015. B. Flani Abhra, Abbot of lona, died. 
1034. O'Huchton, drowned coining from Scotland 

with Coliver Colum-cille's book, and three 

MSS. — Ulster Annals. 
1057. llobertach M'Donell, Co'arb of Columba, died. 
1070. B. M'Baithen, Abbot of lona, died. 
1093. Magnus, King of Norway, subjugates the West 

1099. B. Duncha, son of Moenach, Abbot of lona, 

1126. The first Legate (John of Crema) comes to 

OF IONA. 53 

Scotland. (This is the first trace of Papal 

power here.) 
1 152. Cardinal Jo. Papira arrives in Ireland, with four 

stoles or ropes, sent by the Pope to four 

Archbishops of Ireland. 
1178. St Patrician Huabranian, a venerable and holy 

Bishop, died at Iona. 
1188. B. Amhluabh Hua Loighre, a pilgrim in Iona, 

died in a venerable old age. 
1199. St Muireach Hua Baodin, died in Iona.* 

* After labouring at this " Chronicle of Events" for a 
whole night, I found the whole translated to my hand by 
Dr Smith, 



DER, &C. 

" No more of talk, where God or angel gueat 
With man, as with his friend familiar, used 
To sit indulgent, and with him partake 
Rural repast, permitting him the while 
Venial discourse unhlamed : I now must change 
These notes to tragic." — 

So sang sweet Milton, now about to introduce — 
"foul distrust and breach disloyal, on the part of 
3/i an."' 

Coeumba commenced his glorious career in 
[ona about the year 563, and was called to receive 
the " well done" of his God on the oth of June 
597. The change he was the means of effecting 
in the moral condition of Europe during these 34 
years, is one of the most astonishing events con- 
nected with Scottish history. " He was all this 
while in his monastery of Hy, the mother and 
superior of no less than 100 more, which he him- 

OF ION A. 55 

self had procured to be built, and given rules and 
pastors to." — Spottiswood, lib. i. p. 10. 

His successors, of whom I have in the preced- 
ing chapter submitted an epitome list, followed 
in his steps with the same devoted zeal for near- 
ly 600 years. But churches, like governments, 
are subject to degeneration, and when a church 
or an individual grows lukewarm, the state of 
things becomes unpalatable and unsavoury to 

The first thing that shook the stability of Iona 
college was her own venerable son Adamnan's 
defection. This abbot being sent as ambassador 
to King Alfred of Northumbria, he became a con- 
vert to the Romish rites, which, on his return to 
Iona, he attempted to introduce there, but with- 
out any visible effect. A. D. 7 16, that is, about 
13 years after the death of Adomnan, King Nee- 
tan the III. in league with Ceolfrid, banished 
those who were refractory of the monks of Iona 
" beyond Drim Albin" and in the same year Ecg- 
berht the priest Avent from Northumbria to Iona 
with a view to introduce the new Eucharist and 
Tonsure. This it took him 13 years to accom- 
plish; but still a man's most dangerous foes are 
those of his own household, and on the 23d day 
of April 729? Abbot Duncan and the brethren for 
the first time joined Ecgberht! 

The Romish monks had by this time gained 


great ground both in Scotland and England. 
With their celibacy, and seeming sanctity, they 
had duped the populace t<> die detriment of the 
honest Culdees, who held, as every man ought, 

celibacy in dishonour. 

" Sin-bred ! how have ye troubled mankind 
Witb shows instead ; mere shows of$eeminp pure, 
And banished from man's life his happiest life — 
Simplicity and spotless innocence." 

Ecgberht died this same year, and Iona seems 
to have enjoyed peace for 60 years. In !{)3, the 
Scandinavian spoilers, who from year to year had 
infested the maritime coasts of Scotland, laid 
waste most of the islands of Britain. In 796, 
they carried their piratical incursions to the coast 
of Ireland and Scotland, and continuing their 
ruthless course round the western coast, " burnt 
the famous monastery of Hyona, the only sanc- 
tuary of real learning which Europe even at that 
time possessed." 

M Now watch-fires burst from across the maiu, 

From Rona and Uist and Skye, 
To tell that the ships of the Dane 

And the red-hair'd spoilers were nigh."* 

They burnt it a second time, together with the 
city of Colum-cille, in 801 ; and, destitute alike 
of humanity and Christianity they, some years 

• Campbell. 

OF ION A. 57 

afterwards, put to the sword sixty-eight monks of 

" They have lighted the island with ruin's torch : 
And the holy men of Iona's church, 
In the temple of God lay slain." 

In 806, the first year of the reign of King An- 
gus, the inhabitants of Iona began to repair the 
breaches made by the " Gentiles." Angus was 
slain after a reign of nine years, and was succeeded 
by Acdh II. This king seems not to have been 
in the graces of the Culdees, for it is said, " The 
men of Colum-cille went in a body to curse him." 

In 818, the cruelty and rapine of the " Gentiles" 
was again renewed against the Isles, and, permitted 
by God to scourge the apostacy of man, they 
directed their fury upon Iona. Here they sacri- 
ficed, as a victim to their pagan idolatry, Blaihmac 
MacFlain the Abbot, and 15 of his associates.*)* 
The persecuted university of Iona now began to 
be alarmed at the progress of barbarians, and, 
therefore, began to transport themselves and 
their relics. We read that Diarmid, one of the 
Abbots, set off with some relics, and for fear of 
the pirates, took so circuitous a route that it was 
two years before he made out Ireland. " O* 
Huchton was drowned coming from Scotland 
with Calibher,""j: or the Book of Battles, " Colum- 

* Ulster Annals. f Ulster Annals. 

% Cath, battle ; and leabhar, a book. 


ci lie's Book, and three MSS." From these and 
several other instances which might be adduced, 

much may be conjectured. 

Notwithstanding the great decline of power, 
however, there continued still to be monks and 

abbots at lona. — For 

1489) April. A letter passed under the privy 
seal of James IV u to the Pape, and ane to the 
Vice-Chancellor, for the erection of the Abbacy 
of Calum Cille in the Bishopis sete of the His, 
quhill his principal kirk in the Isle of Man be 
retenit fra Englishemen — solicitat per contitetA 
de Ergile."—Regist Sec Sig. Vol.i. fob 81. 

1 1 92, August 1 . From a very interesting char- 
ter of this date, preserved in the charter-chest 
of Lochbuy, we find that John, Abbot of Y, as 
one of the council of the Lord of the Isles, affix- 
ed his seal to a charter by John Lord of the Isles, 
and Alex r de Insulis, Lord of Lochalsh, (John's 
nephew), in favour of John M'Gilleon, Lord of 
Lochbuy, dated at Oransav. The seal of Abbot 
John is now so much obliterated, that the device 
cannot be ascertained. 

" 1508-9, January. Protect io regis facta re- 
ligiosis mulieribus suisque oratricibus Dominae 
Agnetae filial Donaldi M'Gillane Priorissae Mon- 
asterii Monialium beatissimse Virginis Mariae in 
insula sancti Columbae infra Dominium Insularum 
et conventui cjusdem/'&c. Ibid. iii. fol. 209; — 

OF IONA. 59 

j. e. the king's protection was granted to the Nuns 
of Lady Agnes, daughter of Donald M'Laine,. 
Prioress of the monastery and convent of the 
most blessed Virgin, in the Island of St. Columba, 
within the Lordship of the Isles. 

1548, July 15. " Admission of Mary, daughter 
of Ferquhar, alias MacGilleon, to be Prioress of 
Icolmkill." Ibid. xxii. fol. 37. 

" 1566-7, February 15. Gift to Marion Mac- 
lane of the Prioressie and Nunnerie of the Abbey 
of Ycolmldll — vacant through decease of umq le . 
Agnes M'Clane, last prioress thereof." Ibid* 
xxxvi. fol. 22. 

The Duart Macleans, of whom Coll is the lineal 
representative, seem to have had a close connec- 
tion with Ii a century before this period, for 
Lachlan Maclean, the 1st of Duart, had, 12th 
July, 1390, a charter from Donald Lord of the 
Isles, comprehending, inter alia, " Officium Fra- 
gramanache et Armanache in insula de Hy." 
Registram Magni Sigilli, Vol. xiii. No. 300. 
What this office was it puzzles me to ascertain. 
Frag is an obsolete Gaelic term for a woman, 
and manache is still the term for a monk. It 
must have been, therefore, some office over both 
the nunnery and monastery. I find in Douglas* 
Baronage, under the same date, two or three 
charters more given him; such as, " Custodia 
castrorum de Kernaburg, et Isleburg, cum officio 

60 historic w. A.CCOI NT 

]>ali rains totarum t ma nun <l: Tyrai/ 9 (Tyree), 


Iona. however, was destined soon to be Abbot- 

A.D. 1561. The Act of the Convention of Es- 
tates was passed at desire of the church, •• Fob 
demolishing all the abbeys of monks and B 
and for suppressing whatsomever monuments of 
idolatrie were remaining in the realm." In con- 
sequence of tliis edict, ensued, as we may easily 
conceive, a pitiful devastation of churches and 
monasteries. It was at this time the mobility de* 
stroyed and carried away so many of the crosses 
which adorned Iona! The very sepulchr 
the dead were rifled and ript up — Bibliothecs, 
and other volumes of the fathers, together with 
the registers of the church, were cast into the 
streets, and afterwards gathered in heaps and 
burnt.* The monks made their escape tie 
way they could, carrying with them to the Vatican 
and other places the most precious and portable 
relics. The principal lands belonging to the 
Monastery fell into the hands of Mac Lean of 
Duart, the most powerful of the chiefs in the 

A.D. 1609. The next striking event in the 
history of the now desolate Iona, was a great 

• Keith Hist. p. 503. 

OF IONA. 61 

assembly of all tlie chiefs in the Isles, to meet on 
this holy spot their worthy bishop Andrew Knox 
(of the family of Ranfurly). This benevolent 
prelate, whose best eulogium is, that his labours 
in his diocese were of the same description with 
those which we have seen in our own times 
undertaken, and so successfully prosecuted, by 
the venerable Principal Baird — this prelate, I 
say, found the people over whom he was set, 
reduced to a state of deplorable ignorance, and 
almost barbarism, owing to the Reformation. — 
Start not, reader, at this assertion, however bold 
it may appear, for nothing is more certain : and 
thus we prove it. Before the Reformation, the 
clergy in the Highlands and Islands were not 
only numerous, but well provided for by the piety 
of the natives ; and whatever may have been the 
abuses of the Church of Rome in regard to dis- 
pensations, indulgences, &c. (the immediate cause 
of Luther's zeal), it cannot be denied that the 
ministers of religion in the Highlands were re- 
spected by, and as a matter of course were useful 
to, the people among whom their lot was cast. 
The Reformation, however eagerly embraced, for 
private reasons, by the nobility and great chiefs, 
came suddenly upon the mass of the Highlanders, 
who were not prepared for it. Nor did those 
who at this time without scruple seized the 
greater part of the church lands and revenues, 



and expelled the Romish clergy, trouble them 
i about supplying the mem rf religious 
action to the people, to the 

under the old n j/imn Wh 

qaence ? Athr the Refoi be clergy 

became comparatively few in nsmbei 

of the proper mean- of lupport — many parishes 
and charges heeame vaeant, and remained so for 
a length of time — the churches and chapels be- 
came ruinous — and the people began to fall into 
a state of barbarism that would have disgraced 
the dark ages. 

We all know the difficulty with which, in the 
rich and fertile Lowlands, the establishment of 
the Kirk, on its present moderate footing in re- 
gard to the payment of its clergy, was carried 
into effect. But difficult as this was in the vicinity 
of the Court, the Parliament, and the General 
Assembly, what must have been the obstacles to 
such an arrangement in the remote and almost 
inaccessible Highlands and Isles! 

Bishop Knox found his diocese in the lament- 
able state which we have attempted to describe. 
He failed not to bring the subject fully under the 
notice of King James, who had then recently as* 

d the throne of England; and he I 
relaxed his efforts till all the chiefs of the 
were compelled to meet him at IoWA, there to 
agree upon certain important measures for the 

OF IONA. 63 

improvement and civilization of the Isles. This 
Court, as it was called, of the Bishop of the Isles, 
vras held at Iona in the summer of 1609. The 
statutes there agreed upon, and sanctioned by the 
oaths of the chiefs, are abundantly interesting, 
and appear to have been drawn up with consum- 
mate ability. 

This is perhaps the proper place to introduce a 
few interesting original documents relative to 
Iona. I am enabled to give them in this Edition 
only through the kindness of the " Iona Club." 
I have cancelled what I deemed extraneous matter 
to make room for them. 




Imprimis, the twentie pund landis of Ecolmkill, 20 lib. 

Item, of Rosse, 20 lib. 

Item, in Brolos ane pennie land, callit Tor- 

riniehtrache, . « . . . Id. 

* This rental has been hitherto a desideratum among the 
ecclesiastical antiquaries of Scotland, neither it nor that 
of the Bishoprick of Argyle being contained in the Register 
of Assumption of the thirds of Benefices, made in conse- 


Item* the penme land of Cairsagej . . Id. 

Item, the pennie land of Carvalire, . . Id. 

Item, the half-pennie land of Glagveildirie* Jd. 

Item, ane pennie land of Kilphubbillj . Id. 
Item, the perinie land of the Keallinne, . Id. 

Item, the pennie land of kilbrandane, . Id. 

I it mi, the pennie land of Kilneoning, . Id. 

Item, the half-pennie land of Cengarwgerriej id. 

Item, the pennie land of Kilmorie, . . Id. 

Tin' foirsaid nyne pennie land, all lyand within 

the Isle of Mullc. 

The Abbatis landis within the Isle of Teirie. 

Item, Baillephuille, 4 lib. 

Item, the Wvle, 13s. 4d. 

The Abbatis landis within the Clanrannaldis boundis. 

Item, the He of Cannay, 20 lib. 

Item, Ballenamanniehe, lyand within the He of Weist. 

The Abbatis landis within Donald Gormis boundis. 

Item, [in] the He of Weist the tuentie-four pennie 

land, callit Ung-anab, 24d. 

quence of the act of Parliament, 1561. This interesting 
document was discovered in the charter chest of Sir John 
Campbell of Airds and Ardnamurchan, Baronet, in Feb- 
ruary, 1834. Although there is no marking to that eiVect, 
it appears to have been a copy made in the reign of James 
VI. from the certified rental drawn up in 1661, which by 
some omission was never registered. The document is in 
perfect preservation, and its general accuracy is unques- 
tionable. It is to be hoped that the late discovery of this 
rental will encourage the search for that of Argyle, which 
is still wantinsr. 


Item, Baillenakill in Eillera. 

Item, Kirkapost in Eillera. 

Item, Cairenische thair. 

Item, in Trouterneiss ane half teirunge,* callit Kcil- 

Item, in Sleatt the tua Airmadillis. 

The landls tliat M'Aenf lies of the Abbatis. 
Item, Geirgadeill in Ardnamurchan. 

The Abbatis landis possest be 31'Cloid of Heries. 
Item, the Ards of Glenelge. 

The landis quhilk the Clandonald of the West% Illis. 
haldis of the Abbott. 

Item, the tuentie pundis of Laintymanniche and 
Mwicheleische in Ilia, . * ... 20 lib. 

Item, Ardneiv in Ilia, .... 8 lib. 13s 4d 

Item, the fourtie merk landis of Skeirkenzie in Kin- 
tyre, " 26 lib. 13s. 4d. 

Item, the sax merkis landis of Camasnanesserin in 
Melphort, 4? lib. 

Item, the l c pennie land of Muckarn. § 

* A teirunge or terunga of land was equivalent to four 
merk lands of old extent. 

f Mac Ian of Ardnamurchan. 

\ This seems to be an error for south west. 

§ The six merk lands of Camusnanesrin and the lands of 
Muckarn seem to be here erroneously included under the 
lands held of the Abbot by the Clandonald. They perhaps 
formed part of the Priory lands of Ardchattan, held at the 
Reformation along with the Abbacy of Icolmkill in com- 
mendam, by the Bishop of the Isles ; and at all events, were 
never held by the Clandonald, either under the Abbot or 
any other superior. 


The Kirkis and Pcrsonagis perteining the Abbatt of 
Item, the teindis of Ecolmkill, cailit the personaige 

of Tempill-Ronaige/ 
Item, the personag of Kilviceowinn in Rosse. 
[tern* the persona^ of Keilfeinchen in Mulle. 
Item, the personag of Keilnoening in Mulle. 
Item, the personag of Keilchallumkill in Quyneise 

in Mulle, 

Item, the personag of Keillean in Toirrasain Mulle. 

Item, the personag of Soiribie in Teirie. 

Item, the personage of Keilpedder in Veist. 

Item, the personage of Howmoir thair. 

I win, the personage of Sand thair. 

Item, the personage of Can nay. 

Item, the personage of Sleatt. 

Item, the personage of Mwidort. 

Item, the personage of Skeirkenze in Kin tyre. 

Item, the personage of Keilcheirran thair. 

Item, the personage of Keilehrist inStrathawradall.* 

Rentaie of Bischopis landis within the litis. 
Imprimis, Keilvennie in Ilia. 
Item, the Ille cailit Ellanamwk, possest be M'Aen 

of Ardnamurchane. 
Item, the He of Rasay.f 

* In the Isle of Sky. Kilchrist is now the parish church 
of Strath. 

f M The He of Raarsay is excellent for fishing, pertein- 
ing to M'Gyllychallum of Raarsay be the suord, and to 
the Bischop of the lies be heritage : This same M'Gylly- 
challum should bey M'Cloyd of the Lewis." — Dean Munro. 

OF ION A. 67 

Item, the fyve Illis of Barray.* 

Item, Skeirachnaheie in Loise.f 

Item Rona na nav. 

Item, in Orknay. 

Item, Snisport in Troutirneise, 

Item, Kirkapost in Teirie. 

The Teindis and personagis perteining the Bischop<> 
Item, the Teindis of Buitt. 
Item, the Teindis of Arran. 
Item, the personage of Kirkapost in Teirie* 
Item, the personage of Eie in Loise.J 

* Dean Munro enumerates nine Isles in the vicinity of 
Barra as pertaining to the Bishop, viz. Lingay, Giganin, 
Berneray, Megaly, Pahay, Fladay, Scarpnamutt, Sanderay, 
and Watersay. From the following notice it would appear 
that these Isles, as well as Rasay, were held hy a layman 
by the sword, to the damage of the Bishoprick ". — 

° Compeirit ane Reuerend fader in God, Ferquhar, Bis- 
chop of the His and Commendatour of Colmekyll, and 
constitut Procuratour Maister Jhone Lethame, cum totis 
Frocvratoribus curie, in the actioun movit be him aganis 
M'Neile the Lard of Barray, MacGillechallum callit of 

Rasay, and in all uther actionis," &c Acta Dominorum 

Concilii et Sessionis ; 14th March, 1532-3. 

f The Isle of Lewis. 

% The old church of Eie now in ruins, is in the immediate 
vicinity of Stornoway. Here many of the chiefs of the 
Siol Torcuil, or Macleods of Lewis, are interred ; and par- 
ticularly Malcolm, son of Roderick Macleod, Lord of Lewis., 
who died in the reign of James V. His tomb is still vi- 
sible, and the inscription is entire, with the exception of 
the date. 

68 HISTOBB iJL \< < I 

Item, the personage of Etoidillia Herds.* 
Item, the personage ofSnuport in Troutirnr.- 
Item, the third pairt of all personagifl porteui 
the Abbatfc, the personag of Ecolmkill and 
Etosse onlie exoepAtt 


NLOT NBA! 01 .iami> vi., or a royal charter 

TO THE ABBOT OF IONA, 1587 — 8." 

I. — Lands llossy, or in Ross of MalL 
1. Schabbay — four penny lands. [Shiaba.] Scots money. 
24 stones of oat meal, at 8d. 
24 stones of cheese, at Is. 
4 calved cows, at 10s. 
Eik in money 
Quowart, 3 stones meal . 
3 stones cheese . 
4 bolls coal, at 8J. 
4 bolls lime, at Is. . 4 

Total Schabbaij L.o 10 

* There was at Rowdill a religious house, iouuded by 
Macleod of Harris, and dedicated to St Clement. It has 
long been the burial-place of the chiefs of this family : and 
the monument of Alexander Macleod of Harris and Dun- 
vegan (commonly called Alister Crottach or Hump-back- 
ed), who died in the reign of Queen Mary, is still in good 
preservation, and is perhaps the most beautiful specimen 
of sculpture in all the Western Isles. 













2. Skur — one and a half penny lands. ' Scots money. 

9 stones meal « - L.O 6 

9 stones cheese « •• 9 

1 mart and half a mart, at 10s. 15 

Eik in money . . 13 

Quo wart 1£ stone meal • 10 

,\\\ stone cheese • 16 

1A bolls coal . . 10 

H bolls lime P , 16 


Total Skur 

Kihnakewin — four penny lands. 


24 stones meal 

: L.O 16 

24 stones cheese 


4 marts . 


Eik in money . 

6 10 

Quowart, 3A stones meal 

2 4 

3| stones cheese 

3 6 

4 bolls coal 

2 8 

4 bolls lime t . 


Total Kilmakewin 

Seirpene — two penny lands. 


12 stones meal 

. L.O 8 

12 stones cheese 


Eik in money 

1 8 

Quowart, 2 stones meal . 

1 4 

2 stones cheese . 


2 bolls coal 

1 4 

2 bolls lime 


4 19 4 

Total Seirpene 18 4 



lUhhraloch — a halfpenny land. Soots m one 

;) stonei meal • • L.O 2 

3 stones cheese . . 3 

No eik or other burd. 


I'skanc — a penny land. 

G stones meal . . 

L.O 4 

6 stones cheese . ■. 


1 mart .... 


Eik in money 


Quo wart, 1 stone meal j 


1 stone cheese . 

1 (J 

1 boll coal 


1 boll lime . t 


Total Ushane 1 4 2 

7. Ardhavaig — a penny land. ^Irdchiaveg.'] 

The same as Uskane. 

Total Ardhavaig 

8. Larakhin — a penny land. 

The same as the two preceding*, without 
quo wart, amounting- to Is. 8d. 

Total Larakhin 

9. Ardachig — a penny land. [Ardacha.] 

The same as Ushane* 

Total Ard 

10. Lewojie — a half penny land. 

The same as Edderaloch, No. 5. 

Total Lewonc 

11. Knohnafineg — a penny land. \_K7iochnafenag,~\ 

The same as No. 8. 

Total Knohnafineg 1 

1 4 2 

1 4 



12. KnoMaytarlach — a penny land. 
The same as Nos. 8 and 11. 

Total KnoMaytarlach 

13. Traysane — two penny lands. [Traysana.~\ 
The same as Seirpene, No. 4, with the 

addition of 2 marts at 10s. 

Total Traysane 

14. Ardwalleneis — two penny lands. \Arde- 

The same as No. 13. 

Total Ardwalleneis 

15. Bernis — a penny land. 
The same as No. 6. 




Total Bernis 

Teirgargane — two penny lands. \_Tirer- 


The same as No. 14. 

Total Teirgargane 

Teirkill — a penny land. 


The same as No. 6. 

Total Teirkill 

Kilmorie, — Three farthing lands. 

4J- stones meal , 

. . L.O 3 

4-J stones cheese • 

4 6 

^ of a mart, at 10s. 

3 4 

Eik in money . « 


1 boll coal . , 


1 boll lime • • 


Scots money. 

1 2 

2 8 4 

2 8 4 

1 4 2 

14 2 

Total Kilmorie 13 li 
19. Ellanecalmene — a halfpenny land. 
The same as No. 5. 

Total Ellanecalmene 5 


20. Stokadcll— two penny kadi. Scots money 

The same as Nos. 4 and 13. 

Total Stokadcll 9 

21. Tiullimoir — four penny lands. 

04 stones white meal, at 8d. L.2 2 vS 
4 calved cows, at 10*. . 2 
Eik in money • • 3 4 

Total BaUimoir 4 6 

llquhur — a penny land. [SStrifcAvrra.] 
The same as No. 8. 

Total Sailqnhw 1 2 

23. Totty — one and a halfpenny lands. 

28 stones white meal . L.O 18 8 

1 mart and £• a mart, at 10s. 15 
Eik in money . . 13 

Total Potty 1 

24. Tcrchladar<e—n penny land. 
The same as No. 8. 

Total Terchladanc I - 

25. Creweych, lower — a half peimy land. 

The same as No. 5. 

Total Creweych, lower 5 

20. Creweych, upper — a half penny land. 
The same as No. 5. 

Total Creweych, vpper 5 

27. Ardchenaiy — two penny lands. [ArJfinaig.] 
The same as No. 13. 

Total Ardchenaiy 2 8 4 



28. Part of Teirgeyll, called Callegownan — two 

and a half penny lands. Scots money. 

15 stones meal . . L.O 10 

15 stones cheese . , 15 

3 marts, at 10s. . * 1 10 

Eik in money . . 2 6 

Quowart, 2 stones meal . 14 

2 stones cheese . 2 

3 bolls coal . . , 2 

3 bolls lime . . . 3 

5 10 



Total Callegownan 

Bonessane — three and a half penny lands. 

21 stones meal 

L.O 14 

21 stones cheese 

1 1 

4 marts 


Eik in money . 

3 4 

Quowart, 2 stones meal . 

1 4 

2 stones cheese . 


4 bolls coal 

2 8 

4 bolls lime 


Total Bonessane 

Crongerd — two penny lands 

. [Cronagart.1 

12 stones meal 

L.O 8 

12 stones cheese 


2 marts .... 


Eik in money . 

4 2 

Quowart, 1 stone meal 


1 stone cheese 


Total Crongerd 

Ley — two penny lands. 

The same as No. 30, with the addition of 

1 stone of meal and 1 stone of cheese 

to the quowart. Total Leg 


4 8 4 


7 a 




Assabol — a penny land. 



The same as No. 8. 

Total Assabol 


2 6 


Ardticn — five penny lands. 

30 stones meal 

. L.l 

30 stones cheese 

1 10 


4 marts . 


Quowart, 4 stones meal 



4 stones cheese 


4 bolls coal 



4 bolls lime 



Total Ardtwn 

3 4 

Total money rent and rent in kind con- 
verted into money, payable to the 
crown for the above lands in Ross of 
Mull L.G3 

8 7* 

II. — Lands in other parts of MulU 
34. Kilphobull — a penny land. [Kilphubill, 
now called KilUchronan.'] 

12 stones meal 
12 stones cheese 
I mart . 
Eik in money . 

3j. Killin — a penny land. 
The same as No. 34. 

L.O 8 




Total Kilphobidi 

1 1G 8 

Total Killin. 1 16 8 

30. Calyemoir — a penny land. 
The same as No. 34. 

Total Calyemoir 1 16 8 

37. Kilvranyn — a penny land. [Kilvrcnan.] 1 1G 8 

OF ION A. 75 

Scots money. 

38. Kilnyne — a penny land. [Kilninian.~] 116 8 

39. Kingargera — a penny land. \KengararJ\ 1 16 8 

40. Kilmorie — three farthing lands. 

9 stones meal . . . L.O 6 

9 stones cheese . , 9 

f of a mart, at 10s. f . 2 6 

Eik in money # . .0 5„* 

total Kilmorie 12 6 

41. Beith — two penny lands — seems an error 

for one penny land. 
Rent the same as 34. Total Beith I 16 6 

42. Thorin — apennyland. [Torran.] 1 16 8 

43. Carsaig — a penny land \ 1 16 8 

44. Skrydane & Ard — a penny land 116 8 

45. Gleswilder & Lyald — a penny land 1 16 8 

Total money rent and rent in kind, pay- 
able to the crown for the above lands 
in other parts of Mull . . L,21 5 10 
III. — Island of Iona. 
46. Iona, old rent— 30 marks L.20 
General Augmentation of 
rental on Iona and all the 
preceding lands, 4 marks 2 13 4 

22 13 4 

Total rent payable 

to the crown for Iona 


-Lands in 


Skarrals — a quarter land. 

30 stones meal 



30 stones cheese 

t r 

1 10 

4 marts . 



Eik in money . 



Total ShanaU 5 


Scots Money. 
4^. Kihnabohs — a quarter land, same as No. 47 5 

49. Allabohs — an eighth or half quarter hind 2 10 

50. Kekill — an eighth or hall* quarter land 2 10 

51. Some — seven and a half cow-lands. 

22 stones meal . . L.O 14 8 

22 stones cheese . . 12 

1 mart . . . . 10 

Eik in money . • . 7 

Total Some 2 13 8 

52. Skeag and Lewres — two and a half cow- 

7? stones meal • . L.O 5 

7i stones cheese • • 7 

Total Skeag and Lewres 12 

53. Mec, Ballevannich, and the Isle of Ardnew 

— heing two quarters of the lands of 

Ardnew [Ardnave'j, aud equivalent to 

five merit lands. 
24 holls of oatmeal, of the 

large measure, at 6s. 8d. 

aboil .... L.7 16 8 
Money . . . . 13 4 

Total Mee y Battevannich, & hie of Ardnew 8 10 

Total money rent and rent in kind, pay- 
able to the crown for the above lands 
in isla L.26 15 8 

V. — Lands in Tiree. 
54. Balltfulye — six mark lands. 

48 males of oatmeal, at 3s. 4d. a male L.8 

OF IONA. 77 

55. Kirkebald — six mark lands. Scots moner. 
The same as No. 54 . . . 8 

56. Woyll — one mark land. 

14 males of meal, at 3s. 4d. L.2 6 8 
1 mart • . • . 10 

Total Woyll 2 IG 8 

57. Keillis — six mark lands. 

The same as No. 55 . % . 8 

Augmentation on Lands in Tiree, 2 marks 16 8 

Total money rent and rent in kind, pay- 
able to the crown for the above lands 
in Tiree L.28 3 4 


I. Rental of lands in Ross of Mull, payable 

to the crown by this charter . L.63 8 7j 

II. Rental of other lands in Mull, payable to 

the crown by this charter . . 21 5 10 

III. Rental of the Island of Iona, payable to 

the crown by this charter . . 22 13 4 

IV. Rental of lands in Isla, payable to the 

crown by this charter . . . 26 15 $ 
V. Rental of lands in Tiree, payable to the 

crown by this charter . . • 28 3 4 

Total yearly rent, payable to the crown, 
for all the lands contained in this char- 
ter w r hich formerly held of the Abbot 
of Iona* L.162 6 9|. 

* This table of the different reddendo, of the portion of 
the Abbey lands included in the charter, the title of which 
is given above, with their respective values in money t will 
give some idea of the wealth of the Abbacy of Iona* 




Be it ken I) till all men be thir presentis, me, 
IIorie M'Gloid of the lewis, for the kyndnes, 

fauour, and gentres sehewin to ws be ane reuer- 
end fader in God, JoHNE BI8CHOPE OF THE Ilis,| 

commendatour of Icolmekyle and Ardchattaiu. 
and speciale in the forge v en ws the by-rvne fruc- 
tis of the kirkis and bischop thriddis of Lewis for 
certane zeris bigane, and sindry vther gratitudis 
and fauouris sehewin be the said bisehop to we, 
to be bund and oblist, and be the tenor heirof, 
byndis and oblissis ws and our airis, for ourself 
and for our kyne, freyndis, servandis, adherentis, 
partakeris, and dependeris vpoun ws, to tak plane 
and trew and ane efald part with the said bischop, 
commendatour forsaid, in all his actiones, clames, 
and quarrellis and debattis aganis all deidlie the 
[royall ?] auetorite onlie exceptit ; and mairattour, 
sail with my haill force and power, inbring and vp* 
lift the said bischoppis forsaidis fructis, rentis, 
and emolumentis and commodities quhatsumeuir 
belangand or pertening to the said bischop, be 
quhatsumewir titill or rycht, within the boundis 

* General Register of Deeds, vol. 15, fo. 143. Obliga- 
tion recorded 30th May, 157G. 

■J- John Campbell, paternal uncle to John Campbell of 
Caldar, and successor to Bishop Carsewel). 

OF ION A. 79 

of the His of Scotland, and sail causs his servan- 
dis be answerit thairof, and that of the thingis 
alsweill that he hes presentlie rycht to, as he sail 
chance to obtene rycht or titill to in tymes earn- 
ing ; and gif ony man mak stop or impediment, 
molestatioun, or contradictioun to the said bischop 
or his chalmerlanis, servandis and factouris, or 
fail to him in ony sort, sail causs, after my 
power, the samin be amendit to the said bischop- 
pis contentment, and procur and causs the said 
bischop be thankfulle pay it, and sail mak his L. 
and his commissioneris and factouris thankfull 
payment of all thingis a wand him within my cun- 
treis, and salbe obedient to his L. and deputis and 
commissioneris anent all guid ordinances, lawis, 
and constitutionis and correctionis concerning the 
kirk, as the actis and constitutionis of the reformit 
Kirk of Scotland beris, and wes vsit in the last 
bischoppis tyme.* And gif I, or ony pertening 
me, dissobeyis or opponis ourselfis heirto or fal- 
zies to the said bischop or his commissioneris, fac- 
touris or chalmerlanis, the samin to be amendit 
at the bischoppis ordour and sycht, and his min- 
isteris and clergie that sail assemble with him for 
the time : and in cais, as God forbid, I faill to 
my lord bischop and commendatour foirsaid in 
the premisses, or in ony principale poynt that 

* That is in the time of Bishop Carsewell. 


may be fnndine and felt, and amendis not the sa- 
min, in that eais ] to fcjne all promit kyndnes, fa- 
noui', and protl'eit that I haif of the said bisehop 
in tymes CUming : And for the fay th full obser- 

ring and keeping of this my obligations* oonsenftii 

that the saminbe resist rat and insert in the com- 
■ris l>nikis of the Sky,*' and the Ottnmisseril 
i)uikis of Ycolmkill, and the l)ukis of counsale, 
and to he promest to kep the liwill. and to have 
the strenth of ane act of the lords of counsale 
and sessioun, and of the saidis eonnnisseris 
letteris to j)ass thairvpon in form as efl'eris; 
and to that effect he thir presentis for r 
tratioun and inserting of thir presentis abone- 
writtin in the forsaidis Imikis, and, hecans I euld 
nocht writt myself, I haif causit Rannald Angus- 
oun, persoim of Oig, subscryve this present obli- 
gatioun at my command, with my hand led on the 
pen, the xvj day of Aprile, in ane thousand five 
hundred) threscoir and threttyn yeiris. hefoir thir 
Avitnessis, Andro Calder, Jhone C'amhle, sone and 
:t operand air to Donald ('amble of Ycharauchin, 
Alexander Monro, notor-puhlict, with vtheris di- 
vers; andals, lies causit the said Alexander Mon- 
ro, notar, to subscryve the samin in my name, in 

* This branch of the Commissary Records of the hies, ai 
well as the branch kept at Icolmkill, appears to be amiss- 
ing. It is to be hoped that ere long- some at least of these 
volumes will be discovered. 

OF IONA. 81 

maner abonewritten : And for faythfull obedience 
to the said bischop, and thankfull payment, as 
Ferquhar bischop and Rorie Bischop gat accord- 
ing to the rentell of the His and contractis maid 
to the saidis bischoppis, I obliss my airis to my 
lord bischop now and his successouris, and to that 
effect constitutis, makis, creatis, and ordanis Mes- 
teris Richert Strang and Alexander Mauchane, 
conjunctlie andseverale,my procuratouris, to com- 
peir befoir the lordis and registrat this obliga- 
tioun in my name, promittendo de rato et grata, 
& ca ., sub ypotheca, & ca ., befoir thir witnessis foir- 
saidis, day, yeir, and place abonewrittin. (Sic 
subscribitur), I Ronald Angus on, persoun of Wig 
in Lewis, subscryvis this present obligatioun at 
the command of ane honourable man, Roderick 
M'Cloid of the Lewis, becaus he culd not writt 
himself, his hand led on the pen : I, Ronald An- 
guson, persoun of Wig, with my hand, ad pre- 
miss a. 

Ita est Alexander Monro, notarius-publicus, 
requisitus in premissis teste manu propria. 


Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, 
we, Coleyn Campble of Barbrek, Donald 

* Gen. Reg. Deeds, vol. 15, fo. 78. Obligation record- 
ed 2Tth March, 1576. 


Campble of Acherachin, Jhooe CampUa of Dvn- 
itafniche, and Dougall Campble of imraw, grantis 
to haif l)iuidiii and oblist ourscllis, our airis, 
and assignais, souertis. cautioneris. and dettouris 

«pective, i 1 U mm af wb for our wwim partis, viz, 
Ilk ane of we l\>v the mobm of the hundrotfi and 

tuentie firlrin vsuale money of Scotland, haifand 
>v and t'uurss of payment far the tvme, and 
that for Jhone Campble of Caldkr, be his 
causing" and command, extending* in haill sovm to 
sextene hundreth merkis, money forsaid, to be 
payit thankfulle to ane reuerend fader in God, 
Jhoke Bishop of the Ilis, and comendatour of 
Ardchattane, his aris, exeeutouris, and assigneis, 
at the daies following, that is to say, audit hun- 
dreth merkis thairof to be payit aueht days im- 
mediatlie preceding the Merthnes, in the yeir of 
God l m v° et sevinte-sex, and the remanent audit 
hundreth merkis at Witsonday and Mertimess be 
equale halfis, promittit be the said Jlione Camp- 
ble of Colder to the said reuerend fader for the 
heretahle few is of eertane landisof the priorie (>f 
Ardchattane, quhilk sovme of sextene hundreth 
merkis, money forsaid, we byndis and oh!i 
our airis and assignais, to content and pay to the 
said reuerend fader, his airis and assignais rc- 
pectrue, ilk ane of us for his a win pairt, at the 
termes forsaid and maner ahonewritten, of our 
awin proper geir; but fraud, gile, postponitioun, 

OF IONA. 83 

cavillatioun, or difference quhatsumevir, vnder 
the pane of periure and infamie, and payment o£ 
the said reuerend fader, his airis, exeeutouris, and 
assignais, of skayth, dampnage, and expensis, as 
thai sail incur in the craving and obtening of the 
said sowme, quhill thai be compleitlie payit thair- 
of :* And for the mair verificatioun heirof, we 
haif subscryvit this our present obligatioun with 
our awin propir handis, sa mony of ws as culd 
writt, and sa mony of ws as culd not writt, we 
haif causit the notar vnderwrittin subscrive for 
ws, at Ardchattane, the tent day of the moneth 
of November, anno Domini l m v c and sevinte-five 
yeris, befor thir witnessis, Archbald Campble ap- 
perand of the Otter, Jhone Ballych M'Neill v c au- 
chyne, Jhone Campble, sone to Donald Campble 
of Acherauchin, Patrik Makgillecreist v c Arthour, 
Hectour Boydache Makneill v c auchin, Schir Jhone 
Lawmond, vicar of Innerkelane, and Duncane 
Campble, minister of Ardchattane. (Sic subscribi- 
turj, Donald Campble of Acherauchin, Jhone 
Campble of Inuerleuir, Dowgall Campble of In- 
ueraw. Colyne Campble of Barbrek, and Jhone 
Campble, capitane of Dounstafniche, with our 
handis at the notaris pen underwritten, becaus we 
culd not writt. 

Ita est Dowgaldus M'Arthour, notarius, in 

* Clause of Registration omitted, being in common form. 


testimonium premissorum pro Colino Campble 
de Barbrek, et Johanni Campble, capitanco de 
Dunstafniche, so nescicntibus scribere, rogatua et 
requisitus manu sua. 

IJhone Campble of Calder, bjndifl and oblissifl 
me, my airis, executouris, and assignais, to re- 
lief and kepe skaythlcssall the souerties and det- 
touris abonewritten, thair airis, executouris, and 
assignais, at the handis of Jhone Bischop of the 
His, his airis, executouris, and assignais, anent 
payment of the said sowme of sextene hundretb 
merkis, witness my handwritt. 

(Sic svbscribitur J, Jhone Campble of Calder. 


Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, 
Me, James M'Donill growemycii of Casteli. 
Cammes, sikerlie to be bunden and oblist, and be 
the tenor of thir presentislelelie and treulie byndis 
andoblissesmej my airis, executouris, and assigned. 
in the sikerest forme of obligatioun that may be 
devisit, to ane lleuerend fader in God, Jhone 
Biscnor of the Ilis and commendatour of 
Ycolmekyill and Ardchattane, That we sail con- 
tent, pay, and thankfullie deliuer to the said 
Reuerend fader, his airis, executouris, or assigneis, 
all males and deuteis pertening to the said reuer- 
end fader within North Vyest, Slait, and Troter- 

OF IONA. 85 

nes, that I, or my factouris in my name, tuik vp 
or intrometit with sen the decess of umguhile 
Donald M'Donald gorme of Troternes,* to the 
tyme of the dait of the partising and deuisioun 
maid betwix me and Clane-alespik clerychf of the 
said Donill M'Donill gormes rowmes and boundis, 
and in safar as I nor my factouris hes nocht in- 
tromettit nor tane vp the said Reuerend faderis 
males and dewiteis within the boundis foirsaidis 
betwix the 6aid M'Donill gormes deceiss and the 
decissioun foirsaid, we sail give vtheris dettouris 
thairfor, quha hes tane vp the samin, sua that 
he may clerlie knaw quhom to creif thairof. 
But nevertheless byndis and oblissis me, my airis, 
executouris, and assigneis, to content and pay to 
the said Reurend fader, his airis, executouris, or 
assigneis, all males and dewiteis restand awand to 
him bayth of kirk and kirklandis, within North 
Vyest and Slait, sen the tyme of the divisioun for- 
saidto this dait,andsiclykintymes cuming, during 
the minor it e of Donald M 'Donill, J sone and air to 
the said vmqle Donald M'Donill gorme of Troter- 

, -# Nephew to the obligant in this bond, being the son 
of his elder brother. 

f A branch of the Clandonald North, or Macdonalds of 
Skye and North Uist, descended from Archibald or Gille- 
spick cleirache, uncle to the obligant in this bond. 

J Grand nephew and ward of the obligant, James 
Macdonald of Castle Cames, 

K6 HISTORICAL account 

m s, and farther, salang as I broik the sakBfl kirk 
and kirklandis; that is to Bay, for the kirklandis 
and teyndis of Sandy, tuentie bollis beir, of 
the mett and niesour of Vyest ; ffor the landis of 
Vngcnab in Vyist, with the pendiclis and perti- 
nentis thairof, fourtie-aucht mofef* of beir, of the 
custonio and vse of Vyist ; ffor the landis of 
Kirkebost, auchtene males of grane, tua bollis beir, 
ihrettie cnbakis qnhite cheiss, andane plaid, yerlie ; 
ffor the landis of Carinche, aucht males and ane 
mart; ffor the landis of Bakiafaftlie in Il!era,sextene 
males ; for the third part of the personage of 
Kilmorie in Vyist, auchtene males ; ffor the third 
of the fermes of Halskienagailechie, tuentie males 
grane, and the third part of ane mail ; ffor the 
personage of Kilmoir in Slait, xviij merkis money ; 
and for the bischoppis third part of the said kirk, 
xvj merkis : And this yerlie, alsweill of yeris 
bigane as to cum, sen the dait of the partesing 
and devisioun forsaid, insafar as is vnpeyit, accord- 
ing to the said reuerend faderis rentell, and the 
payment of the bigannis to be maid ony tyme 
betwix this and mydsymmer, vpon xv dayis warn- 
ing. Providing alwayis, that I sail not be haldin, 
in tymes cuming, to pay for sa mony of the saidis 
landis as sal happen to be waist and not inhabite 
in during their being w T ast throw weir or inuasion 

* This word is believed to be of Scandinavian origin ; 
and to have been, if it is not still, in use in Orkney., 

OF IONA. 87 

of Inymeis, that I may not stop or lett : and the 
yerlie payment of the males and dewiteis of the 
saidis landis and kirks in tyme cuming to be 
yerlie maid in Ycolmkyll, betwix Petersmess and 
Beltane ; and forther, gif it happinnis the landis 
of Trout ernes, or any part thairof, cum in my 
handis, oblisses ws in likmanner to satisfie the 
said reuerend fader and his factouris of his males 
and dewiteis within the samin, insafar as I sail 
haif intromission therwith. Inlykmanner, oblisses 
me and my air is, executouris, and assigneis, to 
fulfill to the said reuerend father, his airs, ex- 
ecutouris, and assigneis, the obligatioun maid be 
the said vmquhile Donald M'Donill gorme to the 
said reuerend father, concerning the inbringing 
and peying of his dettis that lyis within the said 
Donaldis boundis, and all pointis and heidis con- 
tenit thair intill, insafar as lyis in my handis or 
power, with the power and force of my self, freyn- 
dis, parttakeris, and dependeris vpoun me, as the 
said Donald M'Doni]l gorme wes bundin in all 
pointis contenit in the said obligatioun, of the 
dait at Dounsceiche the xvj day of Januar, the 
yeir of God l m v c and seventie-tua yeirs. Attour 
byndis and oblisses me, in manir abone written, 
to causs my sone Jhone Gig satisfie the said re- 
uerend fader of all skayth sustenit be him throw 
the breaking of the said reuerend faderis blak 
boitt, committed by the said Jhone Oig vpoun 


the eoist of Kyntyir, in the moneth of Merche, 
the yeir of God l m v c seventie-four yeris, throw 
the taking of hir cabillis and ankris fra hir to the 
said Jhone Oig and his complices, and that at 
the said rencrend faderis awin sycht, 88 I can 
appoint, and drif thaine be bidding and loving, or 
ellis be the sycht of arbytratouris and freyndis, 
to be chosyn betwix tham to that effect, howsone 
the said reuerend fader requiris the samin. And 
for observing and keeping of all and syndry the 
premises, sail causs act thameselfis and souerteis, 
conjunctlie and seuerale, thameselfis andyair airis, 
in the buikis of our souerane lordis counsale, and 
in the buikis of the toun of Edinburcht.* And als 
byndis and oblisses me and my airis to relief my 
saidis cautioneris, but hurt, dampnage, or skayth, 
at the said reuerend faderis handis. And in caiss 
I faill, that lettres pass at thair instance in my 
contrair, for thair relivance. And for the suir 
observatioune and keping of this my present 
obligatioun, becaus I culd not writt myself, I 
haif subscryvit this present with my hand on 
the pen led by the notar vnder written at my 
command, be me speciale requirit thairto, at 
Edinburgh, the xvij of Marche, the year of God 
im yC threscour fivetene yeris, befor thir wit- 
nesses, Archbald Campble,appeirand of the Otter 

* The clause of Registration, being in common form, 
has been omitted here. 

OF IONA. 89 

Donald M'Kynnie of Ostage, Jhone M'Conill 
M 'James, servitour to James M'Conill, and Wil- 
liame Cuming, notar-publick. 

(Sic sub$cribitu7*),Ij8Lmes M'Conill growmeicht, 
with my hand at the pen led by W. Cuming 
notar-publick, be me speciale desirit thairto. 


Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, 
ws Angus PjI'Conill of Donyvaig, to be bundin 
andoblist, and, be the tenor of this present obliga- 
tioun, byndis and oblisses ws in the maist suir 
forme of obligatioun, that we sail fortife, mentyne, 
and defend Jhone Bischop of Ilis, and sail mak 
him thankfull payment of all by-rviie dewties 
awand be ws to him, and sielyke sail leif our 
bailie-depute and our servandis to pay to him ; 
als, sail pas with our forssis throw all the Ilis 
with him to caus all utheris within the boundis 
mak him payment, or ellis thair reddiest gudis and 
geir, insafar as he crauis, conforme to our obliga- 
tioun gevin to the said bischop, and subscriuit be 
ws, the erle of Ergile and the laird of Auchinbrek, 
our cautioneris, and the sal fulfill the said obliga- 
tioun and euerie point contenit thair intill, off the 
dait the xvij day of Junij, the yeir of God l m *r c 

* Gen. Reg. of Deeds, vol. 19. obligation recorded 16th. 
June 1561, 


lxxix. And siclyke, conforme to our contract and 
vreittu maid be ws to the said reuerend fader, 
l>aith anent kirkis and landis within our said 
boundis; siclyke we bind and obliss ws in the 
stratest maner of obligatioun, that quhow sone 
the said reuerend father ehansses be way of law 
to compryse ony landis or heretageifl pretexting 
Lauchlane M'Clayne of Do ward, within the boun- 
dis of Hay [or] Kyntir, that we sail delywer to 
the said reuerend father thankfull payment of the 
sowmes that he sail compryse the saidis landis 
[for] at twa or thrie ressonabill tennis at the 
fardest, as we sail agrie with the said reuerend 
father, and tak of him ane iust infeftment of the 
saidis landis, as men of law can devyse ; and quhill 
the said payement be maid, bindis, and oblisses 
ws to him in the said comprising, and also oblisses 
ws to put the saidis landis he comprysses to the 
greittest availl and proffeitt that the saidis landis 
hes bene at of beffoir to the said reuerend father 
and sail fortifie, meintein, and defend him, his 
airis, and assignais in the possessioune of the 
samine.* In witnes heirof, I hawe subscrywit this 
my obligatioun with my hand, at Doneveg, the 
penult day of Junij, the yeir of God l m v c and 
lxxx yeiris, beffoir thir witnessis, Archibald M' 
Angus Elych, Alexander Campbell, persoun of 

* Clause of Registration omitted, ut supra. 

OF IONA. 91 

Killychmynewyr, Duncane Campbell, minister of 
Ardchattane, and Patrik M'Arthour. 
(Sic subscribiturj, 

Angus M' Donald of Donovaig. 


Tertio Decembris, anno 1580. 
Anent the sumondis raisit at the instance of ane 
reuerend father in God, Jhonne Bischop of the 
Iles aganes Gilemane (or Gileinane) M'Neill of 
Baray, Rorie Og, his sone and apeirand air, 

Allane M'Cayne muddort of Allantyrem, 

M'Conneill M'Nicoll, official' in Trouternis, Don- 
ald M'Gillasbic cleriche baillie of Trouternes, 
Hutcheoune his brother thair, and Ronnald 
Calvoch thair, Murdo M'Clayne of Lochebowie, 
Angus M'Doneill of Doneveg, Ronald M'Doneill, 
Lauchlane M'Conoquhy officiarin Sker of Quhan- 
ininche,f Ronald M'Conoquhy M'Ane his brother, 
Neill M'Duff[ie], Neill M'Ky of Cherand-J 
Murdoch M'Duffie of Collinsey, Gillechrist Og 
M'Culeis in Ardnahow, Moir Nene Rannald Moir, 

* Register of Decreets of Council and Session, vol. 82. 
fo. 169. 

f This word is doubtful ; probably Skeirkenzie in Kintyre 
(mentioned in No. I.) is meant. 
( \ Perhaps Kilchiaran in Kintyre. 


of rmqle AUaster Oig M'Concili, Gilles- 

cliallum M-Gillt\schallu:n of Juisav, Roderic, M ; 
Cloid of Lowis, Jofane M"Ane of Arinamurchan, 
Lauchlane M-Clane of Dowart, Tormond M'Cloid 
of Herreis, Donald M'Doneill Gormoche; and all 

WOai Mndrie UiUMlril and cnratonris of tlx 
L&uchlane M ; md Donald M'Doneill 

Gormoch: To heir it be fundin, be decreit of the 
coaaaale, that the saidis persones, and ilk ane 
ofthame, lies intromettit with the maillis, ferinis, 
teyndis, and deuties pertenyiag and belonging to 
the landisand kirks pertenyngto the wad re nerend 
father within the bischoprik of His and abbay of 
Ycolmkill, ilk ane of thame for thair awinpairtis 
of the cropis and ye iris of God l m v c lxxij, lxxiij, 
and diuerss rtheris yeiris ; extending' to diuerss 
availl, quantetie, and prices lyk as at mair lend 
is contenit in the saidis summondis, actis, and 
letters maid thairupoun befoir. The said re- 
ui'ii ml father compeirand be Mr Ah c 
Mauchane, his procuratour, and the forsaidhl 
. defendaris, being" lauchfullie swnmond 
to this actioun oftimes callit and nocht coiupoirit, 
the lordis of connsale continewis the saidis sum- 
mondis in the samine forme, force, and effect, as 
it is now, but prejudice of pairtie vnto the xij day 
of Aprile nixttocum, with continewatioune of 
dayis, and ordanes the said lvnerend father to 
half letteris to summond the witnessis that were 

OF IONA. 93 

summond of befoir and compeirit nocht, to be 
summond agane vnder gritar panes; and ma 
witness, gif he pleisses, for preveing of the poyn- 
tis of the saidis summondis agane the said day; 
and ordanes the deposiciones of witnessis ellis 
takin in the said mater to be closit quhill the 
samyne day; and that the partie be warnit of 
this continewatioune, and to heir the witnessis 
suorne, and siclik, to compeir personalie befoir 
the saidis lordis the said day, with continewa- 
tioune of dayis, to gif, juramentum calumpnie 
ypoune the haill poyntis and articulis contenit 
in the Siidis summondis; with certeficatioune to 
thame, and thay failzie, thay salbe haldin pro 


At Ardchattane, the aucht day of December, 
the yeir of God l ra v c and fourscoir yeiris, it is 
appoynit, aggreit, and fynalie endit, betwix ane 
reuerend father in God, Johne, Bischope oe 
Llis, on that ane part, and Lauchlane M'Clane 
of Do wart on the vther part, in maner, forme, 
and effect, as eftir followis — That is to say, the 
said Lauchlane M'Clane of Do wart takand the 
bur din on him for his kyn, freyndis, pairttakeris, 

* Gen. Reg. of Deeds, vol. 19. The contract is re- 
corded 26th December, 1580. 

94 hi-. 

and dependeris vpoun him; and ifetm, in respect 
id Lauchlane being Bailie, sould defend the 
iiiimoniteis, previleges. and fredomes quhatsueuir 
gmntii to the bieclfcgprili of His and j)]ace of 
Icolmkyle be the kingis of Scotland, son the E ffl 
fundatioun of the said place to the d.'v and dait 
of tlnr presenilis: Theirfbr the said Lauchlane 
to he bundin and oblist, and his airis. totak plane 
poser with the said reuerend fader to assist and 
mantyne him in all and syndrye his rychtis and 
actionis, ether presentlie in his hand or yit to 
cum; and in speciall, in the collecting and in- 
bringing of the fructis, rent is, and emolumentis 
pertening to tlie bischop of the His, abhacie of 
Ycohnekill, and priourie of Ardquhattane, within 
the boundis of the His ; and the said Lauchlane 
M'Clane oblisses him to pass with the said reue- 
rend fader with his forssis and bring in the saidis 
proffettis within sex dayes nixt eftir he be chargit 
be the said reuerend father thairto, according to 
his power, sua that the said Laehlane be nocht 
chcrgit be the kingis grace or my lord of Ergile 
seruice in the meyntyme. Attour, the said 
Lauchlane byndis and oblissis him to caus< the 
said reuerend fader joiss and broik the ile of 
Ycolmkill, the landis and barony of Ros>> 
half of Ballifoill, and the grange of Kilmenie in 
Ylay, als frelie with all males, dewiteis, setting 
[and] resing of tenentis, removing and dispossess- 

OF IONA. 95 

ing o£ fre halderis, according to tlie or dour of 
law, vse and consuetude of Ycolmkill and barony 
of Rosse, als frelie as ony bischop or abbot broikit 
the samine, sen the first fundatioun of the said 
place of Ycolmekill; and sal tak Lauchlane 
McDonald M'Conych and his galey of seruice of 
the saidis landis of Rosse; and sal neuer place 
ane Stewart-depute vpoun the saidis landis of 
Rosse induring the said reuerend faderis liftyme ; 
bot onlie the thriddis of eourtis, as Bailie, to per- 
tene to the said Lauchlane and his airis: And 
sail suffer na maner of persoun or personis to 
oppress the saidis landis of Ycolmekill and 
Rosse, or tenentis thairof, or trouble or molest 
thame in ony sort with ather stenting, conyoiu, 
gerig seruice, or ony maner of exactioun; and 
except four men out of Rosse onlie, and four men 
furth of Ecolmekill, to pass and kepe the fortalice 
of Carnebulg,* vpoun thair awin expensis, salang- 
as M'Clane is in oistingf to his returning; and 
in all vther causis, requiris the seruice of the 
saidis tenentis of Ycolmekill and Rosse, with the 
haill males, dewiteis, quert Stewart \\ conforme 

* A strong fortress in one of the Treshinish Isles, off the 
north-west coast of Mull. 

■f In oisting, that is attending a host or army under the 
ing or his lieutenant. 

% Or quowort, a particular old duty exacted from the 
various parcels of lands in the shape of certain portions of 
meal and cheese. The derivation of the word is uncertain. 


to the rentell and teyndis to the said reuerend 
fader, induring his lyftyme ; and the saidis tenentis 
to serve him onlie and the place of Ycolmekill, 
and to be his houshald induring his Jiftyme. 
Mairattour, the said Lauchlane, takand the bur- 
din on him as said 18, bindis and oblissis him and 
his airis to causs the haill teyndis of Mull, and I 
all vitheris places within his dominioun, to be 
thankfullie peyit to the said reuerend fader yerlie, 
or ellis the hiest prices or availlthe saidis teyndis 
may be estimat to, in quhois handis that evir the 
saidis teyndis be, except onlie samekle of the 
saidis teyndis as in the said Lauchlanis awin 
handis, to be reseruit to himself for payment of 
the dewiteis usit and wont. And anent the teyndis 
of Teirey, the said reuerend fader and Lauchlane 
M'Clane referris to the commowning of Jhone 
M'Clane, Baillie of Morverne, Jhone Campble of 
Eriskay, Neill M'Ewin avoych, Donald M'Ewine, 
and Patrik M'Gilchreist. And, mairattour, sail 
causs the said reuerend fader be answerit and 
obeyit, and his commiseris, visitatiouns, spyrituall 
correctiouns, and pecuniall panis, as ony bischop 
is obeyit within this realme of Scotland. And' 
anent the haill teyndis of Mull, that ony man 
clames rycht to, their rychtis to be producit befoir 
the bischop and cheptour of Ycolmekyll, the said 
Lauchlane M'Clane being present. And alsua 
the said Lauchlane byndis and oblissis him to 

OF IONA. 97 

content and pay to the said reuerend fader the 
soume of ane thousand merkis, in pairt of payment 
to ane guid compt of the byrun males and dewiteis 
of the kirklandis, that the said Lauchlane broikis, 
perteining to the bischopriks of the Ylis and 
abbacie of Ycolmekyll sent the said bischoppis 
entrie, quhilk was the day of 

of the year of God l m v c sevinte tua 
yeirs : And mairattour byndis and oblissis him to 
produce his chartour of feu of samony landis as he 
haldis of the bischopriks of the Ylis and abacie of 
Ycolmekill, and all rycht he may clame, befor 
Schir Newyne M 'Vicar, as commissar of Ergile, 
and Dougal M'Arthour, notar publiek, betwixt 
the day and dait heirof, and the xxviij day of 
December instant, and sail gif the autentik copy 
and transumpt thairof to the said reuerend fader, 
that he may knaw quhat landis he haldis of the 
said reuerend fader, sic as Duncane M'Dougall, 
fear of Donnoldych, for payment of the soume of 
ane thousand merkis for the expenssis and re- 
nunciatioun of ane decreit, as efter followis, that 
is to say, thre hundreth merkis thairof at the 
feist of Sanct Mauenis fair nixt thairefter, and 
thre hundredth merkis in compleit payment of 
the said soume of ane thousand merkis at the 
feist of Candlmess nixt, in the yeir of God I ra v c 
and fourscoir yeris. And the said Lauchlane 
byndis and oblissis him to compeir befor the lordis 


( t seflrioun, and thair, qnhatsumeinr sc c urito the 
tordifl can devise \\>v the said reuercnd (actor, 
said Lauehlane im to mafc and per- 

form the samine betwixt the day and dait of thir 
■itis. and Beltane oixl beireftir following; — 
flbr the quhilkis causes, sua to be done and per fo r - 
nrit, the said reuerend fader byndis and oblissis him, 
rpoun the premonitioun of xv davis, to oompeir 
before the lordis sessioun and eounsall, and 
the ressait of cautioun and securite for tlie yerlie 
payment of the males and d< rtening to 

the hishopric of Ylis and Ecolmekvll as the saidis 
lordis of eounsall devise, the said rem rend fader 
soil renunce and simplieiter discharge the d 
obtenit aganis the said Lauehlane M'Clanc of 
Dovyart, anentis his fewis, pertening to the 
Bischoprik of the His and abaci e of Ycolmekill, 
and sail put him in the samine place he was before 
the obtcning of the said decreit, and the 
Lachlanis charter to half the samyne forme, force, 
and effect, as it had befor the < of the 

said decreit; and gif neid beis, the said rcia- 
fader byndis and oblissis him to pas with the 
Lauehlane M'Clane of Do wart, vpoun the said 
Lauchlanis expenssis, to obtene ane confirmatioun 
vpoun the chartour gevin be umquhile Maister 
Jhone Kerswell, sometime Bischop of the His,* 

* This charter has not yet been discovered, which, 
however/nm-t have been granted between 1166 and 1572, 

OF ION A. 99 

and sail fortifie, mentyn, and defend the said 
Lauchlane in all his honourable and lessum 
actionis, as appertenis ane bischop to do to the 
said Lauchlane, as his spirituale sone ; and als the 
said reuerend fader oblissis him, incaiss that the 
said feu chartour maid be the said vmquhile 
Maister Jlione Kerswell to the said Lauchlane be 
nocht fudin sufficient, in that caiss, the said 
reuerend fader oblissis him to mak, seill, subscriue, 
and deliver to the said Lauchlane, ane feu char- 
tour, als suir as men of law can deviss, for sic 
soumes of money as he and the said Lauchlane 
can agree; and alsua the said reuerend fader 
byndis and oblissis him to obtene lettres of 
poinding and horning from the lordis of secreit 
counsale and sessioun, to warrand and keep 
skaythles the said Lauchlane, in inbringing to 
the said reuerend fader the males and dewiteis 
of the bischoprik of Ylis, and abacie of Ycolmkill : 
— Attour bayth the saidis pairteis ar content and 
consentis that thir presentis be extendit in the 
most large forme, with all claussis necessar, and 
that the samine be renewit als oft as neid beis, 
be adviss of men of law. In witness heirof, baith 
the saidis pairteis lies subscrivit thir presentis 
with thair handis, day, yeir, and place forsaidis, 

by Bishop Carsewell, to Hector Maclean of Dowart, 
Lauchlane's father. A confirmation of this charter, was 
granted by James VI., in the year 1587. 


befoir those witnessis — Jhone M'Lane, Baillie of 
Morverne, Archibald Campble, apperand of the 
Otter, Jhone Campble, constable of Dunstaf- 
niche, Jhone M'Doncll, alias Campble, Patrick 
M'Carthour, and James Kyncaid, notar public. 
[Sic subscribitur] Jhon Bischop of the His, 
Lauchlane M'Clane, of Dowart; Jhone M'Clane, 
as witness, Jhone M'Donald,alias Campble,witness ; 
Jacobus Kincaid, nutarius testis in premiitis. 


Ane lettre maid to Joiine, Bisciior of Yllis, 
his airis and assignais, of the gift of the eschete 
of all gndis, moveabill and unmoveabill, &c, that 
may fall and becnm in our soverane lordis handis, 
quhilkis pertenit to umcpihile Donald M'Gillespic 
Clereiche, bailie of Trouternes, Huchone M'Gil- 
lespic his bruthir, Maconeill Maknicoll, 

officar, of Trouternes, Nicoll hisbrothir, Murdoche 
M'Clane of Lochbuye, Lauchlane M'Clane of 
Doward, and Janus M'Donald Gromicheof Caste] 
Cames ; and now pcrtening, &c, to our soverane 
lord, &c, be ressoun of escheit, throw being of the 
saidis persounis, and evirilkane of thame, ordourlie 
denunceit our said soverane lordis rebellis, and 
put to the home, be verteue of lettres in the four- 

• Registrum Secreti SigiUi, vol. 48, fo. 29. 

OF IONA. 101 

formes, purchest at the instance of the said Johne 
Bischop of Illis, for non-payment of thair farmes, 
maillis, teindis, and dewiteis, quhilkis thai have in- 
trometit with respective pertenjing to theBishoprik 
of Illis and Abbacie of Icolmekill and ar pairtis of 
the patrimony of the samin, and pertening to the 
said Johne, be verteue of his provision thairof of 
the croppis and yeir of God l m v c lxxv, lxxvi, 
lxxvii, and Ixxviii yeiris, croppis, last bypast, and 
remanyng at our said soverane lordis home, be 
the space of ane yeir with the mair, &c. At 
Dalkeith, the xxvi day of Julij, the yeir of God 

Per signaturam. I c merkis. 

In concluding my remarks upon this " Court 
of the Bishop of the Isles," I venture to suppose 
that the Bishop, knowing the men he had to deal 
with, selected lona for the place of meeting, that 
the oaths which he took from the islanders might, 
for more security, be sworn upon the Black 

Here occurs a long blank in the history of lona. 
The reader may fancy to himself the Spirit of 
reformation for upwards of 200 years — reform- 
ing by law — carrying away the tomb-stones — the 
monuments of the mighty — to build huts and en- 
closures, or perhaps to adorn modern church-yards, 
where to this day they betray themselves. 


In 1566-7, we left Marion Maclean prioress of 
Iona; and in 1790, we find Mr Allan Maclean, 
schoolmaster, the only religious instructor! This 
good man may he said to have been Abbas Ht/ensh 
for these 50 years past. 

In addition to Mr Maclean, Government was 
pleased some years ago to give Iona a respectable 
clergyman, Mr Campbell.* This acquisition she 
owes, I believe, to the intercession and exer- 
tions of the Rev. Dr M'Leod of Campsie,f a lineal 
descendant of the Norwegian kings, and possessing 
a princely mind. By dwelling upon the amiable 
— the excellent — the sublime — his soul has taken 
an impress of them. lie, in conjunction with the 
venerable principal Baird, has done more to repay 
Iona than any one man now alive. Of this fact 
few, comparatively, arc aware, because it is his 
character to 

" Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame." 
The^aiV sea: — last at the cross, and first at the 
grave — have not been unmindful of the deeds of 
Iona. In the summer of 1832, the sum of £25 
was collected by an English lady, and placed in 
the hands of the Minister, Mr Campbell, for the 
establishment of an infant school. It is now begun 
with every prospect of success. I am also in- 
formed that an Edinburgh lady has this summer, 

• Succeeded now by Mr M'Vean. 

f IS'ow of St Columba, Glasgow. 

OF IONA. 103 

collected £27 for the same object. But their 
school-book, which must be in Gaelic, poor urchins 
is also in manuscript still ! This MS. the author 
prepared and furnished. The Hymns are chiefly 
translations. To enable the public to judge 
whether or not they aught to be printed, he begs 
leave here to submit a specimen. 


Tha sinn cruinn ann ad lathairse 

Paisdean lag tla, 
Ti'nn a dhiaraidh ort eolais 

Ann an dige ar la, 
O 'Aithair na trocair 

D'am buin mdrchuis gun cbrioch, 
Seall a nuas ann an caoimhneas, 

Air naoidheanan li ! 

Ann an linn Cholum-chille 

B'e so innis an aigh ! 
Bha e ainmeal an eolas, 

Mar tha eolaich ag radn, 
O 'Atliair gach trocair 

Ann ad' mhorachd gun chrioch,. 
Seall fathast an caoimhneas 

Air naoidheanan li I 

Ge h-iosal ar bothan 

A' measg chnocaibh is ghleann, 
Bha do Mhac fein air docair 

'Se gun socair d'a cheann 
Air a sga 'san, ! deonaich 

Ann ad' mhorachd gun chrioch 
Seall fathast an coimhneas 

Atir naoidheanan li ! 





WAY, &C. 

The deep interest of Iona can be felt only amidst 
the moral sublimity of her ruins. A visit to it 
lias been found by many to be a school for the 

u The song has ceased, but its sound is still in our ears." 

Of the race of the Druids we cannot with cer- 
tainty condescend uv>on any who reposes here, it 
being one of the particular tenets of that religion 
not to commit ought to writing. This we do 
know, however, namely, that they and the Find 
galians have once and again "mixed steel" in the 
" combat of heroes/' and that " Dargo, the 
Druid of Be id, they had sent to the green isle 
•where his fathers rest." This isle, Dr Smith 
Bays, "is supposed to be Iona, to which the last 
remains of the Druids, according to Bishoi 
Pocock, had retired." Cuthon, or Conn, Dar- 

OF ION A. 105 

go's son, wishes also, when dying, to be buried 
in Iona. "My soul," says he, "mounts on the 
meteor's wing (the DruVeug) to the abode of the 
brave and good; with my fathers let my body be 
placed: let our rest be together in the green isle? 

This is proof presumptive at least that Iona 
was famous as a place of sepulture in the second 
and third centuries ; for, Playfair in his chronology, 
makes Ossian flourish about A. d. 300, which so 
far agrees with the Annals of Ulster, which say 
that Fingal the father of Ossian, was lineally 
descended from Niah Neacht, King of Leinster, 
! — that he was married first to Graine, daughter 
of Cormac who was proclaimed monarch of Ireland, 
A. d. 254. Graine having intrigued with Diar- 
maid an Tuirc, was repudiated by Fingal, who 
married her sister Aibhe, the mother of Ossian.* 

In making mention of the nation of dead who 
sleep in Iona, I am not prepared to furnish the 
sceptic with the amount of proof some " wander- 
ing tourists" would demand; but I will submit 
evidence enough to satisfy myself; and my know- 
ledge of the Highlands, and of the Highland 
character, is not that of a " wandering tourist."' 
M Fierce in their native hardiness of soul — 
True to imagined right above control." 

Pinkerton, a man sufficiently nice with regard 
to evidence, states — "From the register of St. 
* Walker's Hist. Mem. p. 37. 


Andrew's we learn that our kings, from Kenneth 
III. down to Edgar, 1098) wereburied in Hyona." 

u 'Tis oumetl" Baja Abercromhy. in his Martial 
Achievements, page 6, - khal the monastery of Ily, 
or I-colmkill, was bunded about the j ear 560 ; 
that the S co ta Kingi were buried there, and their 

records kept there till the reign of Malcolm Can- 
more." Again, page 94, vol. i — " Fergus the 
Second, in the isle of Iona or I-kilmkill, erected 
religious house, with a stately church, where 
afterwards, his successors were buried, and a 
library furnished, with many valuable bo 
Of these honest testimonies I might quote a 
score; but enow. If this be true, and it receives 
confirmation from our most ancient winters, the 
" stately church" must have been for the accom- 
modation of the Druids; for Fergus began his 
reign in the year 404, more than a century before 
Columba's arrival. To this epoch I, for my own 
part, have no objection, for Walker says, that 
our Fergnsia* were descended from Fergus the 
son and Ard Filea, I believe, of Fingal, who now, 
in the 4th century, begin to reap the fruits of 
their departed fathers' fame. This Fergus, the 
first crowned head that was buried in Iona, was 
ally to Alaric the Goth, at the sacking of Rome. 
The blockade of Rome was commenced in 408. 

* The name Fergus signifies, fear, a man ; and guth t a voice. 

OF ION A. 107 

and in 410 the imperial city, who had been a 
stranger to fear for 619 years before, was deliver- 
ed up. Fergus, therefore, had sufficient time to 
be at Rome: and indeed the character of the 
"barbarians," as they were called, furnishes no 
mean evidence that they were not without Celts 
amongst them. " They breathed nothing but war 
— their sword was their right — simple and severe 
in their manners, they were unacquainted with 
the name of luxury. Inured to exercise and toil, 
their bodies seemed impervious to disease or pain; 
they sported with danger, and met death with 
expressions of joy."* 

I am now prepared to quote from Monipennie 
the names of some of these Kings, together with 
the manner of their death and burial. This I 
must be allowed to compendize, and render into 
modern orthography, both for ease to myself, and 
perhaps to the reader. 

B. to Reign. 

404. Fergus II., who conquered his realm of Scot- 
land of the hands of the Romans and Picts, 
beginning his reign in the year of Christ 404. 
He was killed in battle by the Romans, the 

* Robertson's Hist, of Charles V., vol. i. sec. 1. 

-J- The dates in the margin, and those in body of the page, 
are taken from different historians, which accounts for dis- 


lGth year of his reign, and buried in Icolm- 

419. Eugenius II., Fergus' second son. He, with 
the valiant Graham, gave the Britons and Ro- 
mans a most desperate battle* in which were 
killed 15,000 Britons and 4000 Scots. In 
the seventh year of his reign, Britain \ 
wholly delivered from Roman tribute. Eu- 
genius died in peace in the year 451, and was 
buried in Icolmkill. 

451. Dongard, the brother of Eugenius. A goodly 
wise, and valiant king. He was killed fight- 
ing with Constantino, and was buried in Icolm- 

470. Congall, or Conul I. He was a great warrior, 
who sorely vexed the Britons and Saxons. 
He died in peace, and was buried in Icolm- 

501. Conran, brother to Congall. He was a good 
king, and severe Justiciar. Certain traitors, 
however, murdered him in his chamber, the 
thirty-fourth year of his reign. He was bu- 
ried in Icolmkill. 

549. Eugenius III. He continued in peace all his days; 
died the twenty-third year of his reign, and 
was buried in Icolmkill. 

558. Congal, or Conal II. A good, just, and godly 
prince. He instituted many goodly laws, 
concerning churches and churchmen. He 
died in peace the eleventh year of his reign, 
.and was buried in Icolmkill. (This must be 
tl e Conal who gave Iona to St. Columba.) 



604. Kenneth I. A good king. He died the first 
year of his reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

569. Aidan. He was a valiant and good king, and se- 
vere Justiciar. In his time the Britons and 
Scots came into Northumberland against the 
Saxons and Picts, and vanquished them in 
dangerous battle. The tenth of the spoil was 
dedicated to the churches of Scotland ; and 
the banners or ensigns taken were sent to 
Icolmkill. (So aJso David took the head of 
the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem, 
together with his armour.) 

This Chronology must be nearer the truth than 
Pinkerton's ; for this is the Aidan of whom Cumin, 
who wrote but sixty years after Columba's death, 
says — " That being directed by an angel, in a 
dream, he went to the island of Hyona, or Hy, 
and there meeting with Aidan, put his hand on 
his head, and ordained him king." 

Aidan died the 35th year of his reign, and was 
buried in Icolmkill. 

606. Eugenius IV., Aidan's son, succeeded in the year 
606. ' He reigned peaceably for fifteen years, 
and was buried in Icolmkill. 

632. Donald IV., a good and religious king, holding 
peace with his neighbours. He being at fish- 
ing with his servants for pastime, perished in 
Lochtay, the fourteenth of his reign ; his body 
being found, was taken to Icolmkill ! 

646. Ferchar II., an avaricious tyrant. He was bit 


by a wolf in hunting) whereof ensued a dan- 
gerous fever. 1 1 « * died in the eighteenth of | 
liis reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. 
604. Malduin, or Maoldllin. A godly and wise king. 

lie was strangled by h\sivifeh\ the night, on 
Suspicion of adultery, the twentieth of his 
reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. His 
queen and her accomplices were taken next 
day and burned. 

084. Eugene V. A valiant and good king. He ob- 
tained a great victory over Edfred, King of 
Northumberland, who was killed, with 10,000 
Saxons. He died the fourth of his reign, and 
was buried in Icolmkill. 

687. Eugene VI. succeeded. He died in peace, and 
was buried in Icolmkill. 

697. Ambercellach succeeded. He was killed by an 

arrow r -shot the second of his reign, and w r as 
buried in Icolmkill. 

698. Eugene VII. A religious and virtuous king, who 

endowed sundry churches liberally. He died 
the sixteenth of his reign, and was buried in 

76 1 . Eugene VIII. A good king, and severe Justiciar. 
He was put to death by Donald Lord of the 
Isles, and the Earl of Galloway, for assent- 
ing to Donald's vices. He himself afterw r ards 
degenerated into the most abominable vices, 
for which he was killed by his nobles ; and 
his familiars and servants were hanged upon 
•jibbets. He was buried in Icolmkill. 

763. Fergus III. A lecherous king, for which he was 



murdered by his jealous queen, daughter of 
the King of Picts. She confessed the fact, 
and then stabbed herself to the heart with a 
dagger. The body of Fergus was buried in 
Icolmkill 767. 

766. Soluoth, or Solvatius. A pampered lazy king. 
He died of the gout in the twentieth year of 
his reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

787. Achia. A great and good king. He married the 
daughter of Charles the Great (Charlemagne), 
King of France and Emperor of Germany, 
who bare him three sons and one daughter. 
He sent his brother William and sundry no- 
bles to France, with 4000 valiant warriors, 
to assist his father-in-law in the wars. Wil- 
liam prospered greatly, and conquered sundry 
nations ; so much so, that the Florentines 
commanded live lions to be nourished yearly 
upon the public purse, because the lion ram- 
pant was the armorial ensign of the sons of 
the hills ! King Achaius being aged, died in 
peace, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

819. Congall, or Conal III. A peaceful king. He 
died in the fifth year of his reign, and was 
buried in Icolmkill. 

824. Dongall ; a brave king. He, preparing a great 
army to pass against the Picts, perished in a 
boat as he was crossing the water Tay. His 
body was found, and buried in Icolmkill. 

831. Alpine, Achaius' son. A valiant and good king. 
Being rightful heir to the crown of Picts, he, 
in a dangerous and cruel battle, killed Fred- 

I 1 2 historical u COUNT 

crick, their king. The Picts, immediately 

elected the lieree and \aliant llntdus, who 

Bent ambassadors to Alpine, desiring peace. 

Alpine would make no peace. Both armies 
prepared, and a dreadful battle was fought 

at the bridge of Dunkelt where the Scots 

Were Worsted, and King Alpine taken and 

beheaded. His body was taken to Icolmkill. 

834. Kenneth the second, surnamed the Great. Htj 
married the Lord of the Isles' daughter, who 
bare him three sons. He gave battle to the 
Picts, to their utter extermination ; killed 
their king, with all his nobles, and sent his 
sword and coat of armour to IcohnluU u in 
perpetual memorie." King Kenneth institut- 
ed many good laws, and brought the " fatal] 
chayre" from Argyle, (t. e. from Dun-'s~ 
da-imas, now r DunstafFnage) to Scone. (No 
favourable specimen of the goodness of his 
law s, in my humble opinion !) He died the 
twentieth of his reign, and was buried in 

854. Donald V. A vicious and odious king. Pie was 
taken by his nobles, and imprisoned, where 
he killed himself. He was buried in Icolm- 

858. Constantine II. A valiant king. He married 
the daughter of the Prince of Wales who bare 
him two sons and one daughter. In his time, 
Hungar and Hubba, with a great fleet of 
Dane-, Landed in Fife, and used great cruel- 
tics. Constantine came with a great army 

OF IONA. 113 

against Hubba, and vanquished him. The 
Scots being proud of this victory, and ne- 
glecting themselves, there followed another 
desperate battle. At last the Scots were 
vanquished, and Constantine with his nobles 
and 10,000 of his army, killed, the fifteeenth 
of his reign. He was buried in Icolmkill. 

874, Ethus, surnamed the Swift. A luxurious and 
uxorious prince. Being imprisoned by his 
nobles, he died the third day of melancholy, 
having reigned three years. He was buried 
in Icolmkill. 

876. Gregory, or Grig. A valiant and greatly renown- 
ed prince. He ordained that all kings, his 
successors, should, at their coronation, make 
oath to defend the Christain religion. He 
made great conquests, both in England and 
Ireland, and built the city of Aberdeen. He 
died in 892, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

892. Donald VI. A very good king. He died in peace, 
the eleventh year of his reign, and was buried 
in Icolmkill. 

903. Constantine III. A valiant prince, but not 
fortunate in wars. He became a canon in 
St. Andrew's, where he died, the fortieth of 
his reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

938. Milcolm, or Maol-Callum I. A noble king. He 
was traitorously murdered, the ninth year of 
his reign, and was buried in Icolmkill. 

958. Indulf. A royal warrior. He vanquished in 
battle Hagan, Prince of Norway, and Xckelr 
Prince of Denmark, but was himself killed 

' I 1 HI8TORIC \l. A.CCOUP l" 

by stratagem of war, the ninth year of hie 

reign, and was buried in I rohnkill. 

968. Dufiusj or M'Duff, He was basely murdered 

by Donald, captain of Forns, and was buried 
in [colmkill. 
973. Kenneth III. A severe Justiciar. He caused 

500 notable thieves to be banged on gibbets 

— (that wa> one notable act.) The Dane-, 
with a great licet of Bhipgj arrived at the 
mouth of Tay, and destroyed the town of 
Montrose, killing all the people, and demol- 
ishing the walls ! — Kenneth, with a great 
army, marched to oppose their progress, 
when there ensued a dreadful battle, and vic- 
tory for a long while hung in even scales. 
At last one Hay, with his two sons, rallied 
the Scots, and by their valour and courage 
renewed the battle. The Danes were van- 
quished, and a great number slain. The king 
rewarded Hay and his two sons, by gi\inu r 
them a great part of the spoil of the Danes, 
with as much land as a falcon off a man's 
hand flew over, which was about six miles in 
length, and four in breadth. Kenneth after- 
wards, from avarice, killed by poison, Mal- 
colm, prince of Scotland ; which act was 
ultimately the cause of his own death. He 
was buried in Icolmkill. 

994. Constantine IV. He was killed in battle at the 
town of Crawmond, the second of his reign, 
and was buried in Icolmkill. 

096 Grimus, Duffs son. A vicious usurper. lie was 

OF IONA. 115 

killed in battle by Malcolm, and was buried 
in Icolmkill. 
1004 Mil, or Maol-Colum II. A valiant and wise 
king. He was killed by conspiracy, and 
buried in Icolmkill. 
1034 Duncan I. He was traitorously killed by Mac- 
beth, the sixth of his reign, and was buried in 
1 040 Macbeth. A valiant prince, and severe Justiciar ; 
but at last, by illusion of witches and sorcerers, 
he became a cruel tyrant. He was vanquish- 
ed by Malcolm Ceann Mor, and killed by 
M'DufF, Earl of Fife. His body was taken 
to Icolmkill, and there buried. 
Hitherto the Gaelic was the universal language 
of Scotland — even of the Court. But after Mac- 
beth, Maol-Callum-Cean Mor having fallen in 
love with, and married Margaret, sister to young 
Edgar, King of the English, from love and courtesy 
to her, thought of making the English the lan- 
guage of the Court, and the royal sepulture, 
Dunfermline ! — (" In loving thou do'st well, in 
passion not.") — Upon these Celtic heroes, I can- 
not help making one reflection, namely, that they 
were men, and led their bonneted tribes like men ; 
whereas, of some of the nations at this day, we 

* " Where is Duncan's body ?" 
M'Duff — " Carried to Colme's kill : 
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors, 
And guardian of their bones." — Shakspeare. 

1 16 historical ACCOUNT 

may say with Isaiah, kk As for my people, 10001*11 
rule over theni." 

The Tomb of the Kings o/ 1 Ireland. 

765 BeatUB Nial, King of Ireland, who had abdicated 

his kingdom, and had been for eight years in 

Iona, died. — Ulst. Annals. 
736 B. Art-all M'Catheld, King of Connaught, who 

had abdicated, died in pilgrimage at Hyona. 


To seek out the names of the other Irish kings 
that were buried in Iona, I do not judge of indis- 
pensable moment, and therefore proceed to 

The Tomb of the Kings of Norroway, that is, of the 

Norwegian Race, in Ireland and the Isles. 
980 Amluabh or Aulay, son of Sitrick, Prince of the 
Normen of Dublin, after his defeat in the 
battle of Tarah, took refuge in Iona, where 
he died. — Ulst. Ann. 

1187 On the 4th of the ides of November, Godred, 
King of the Isles, departed this life ; and the 
summer following, his body was conveyed to 
the island of Hy ! — Cron. of Man. 

* Lord Buchan speaks of " long stones which seemed to 
have had long inscriptions ;" — one of them has on its edge, 
says he, the following antique inscription in the British 
character: — Cormac Uufhadda, hie est situs: I. e. Cormac 
Barbatus, or Long-bearded, lies here. Cormac M'Aird, 
one of the kings of Ireland, who, according to Dr Keating 
in his Notitia Hybern'w > was buried here. — Trans. Antiq. 

OF IONA. 117 

12-28 About this time Olave, surnamed the Black, 
brother to Reginald, late king of Man and 
the Isles, went to the King of Norway : but 
before his arrival, Haco, King of Norway, 
had appointed a certain nobleman, called 
Huspac, (believed at this time to be the son 
of Owmund, but who afterwards turned out 
to be a grandson of Somerled by his son 
Dougal,) to be king of the Sodorian islands 
(the Hebrides and Man), and named him 
Haco. This Haco, accompanied with Olave, 
Godred Don, the son of Reginald, and many 
Norwegians, came to the isles ; but in taking 
a certain castle, in the isle of Boot (Bute), 
Haco-Uspac was killed with a stone, and 
buried in Iona. — Ibid, Sf Anecdotes of Olave 
the Black. 

" About 70 feet south of the chapel is a red 
unpolished stone, beneath which lies a king of 
France." Of this king, as we know not who he 
w r as, we may with the poet say, — 

" How loved, how valued once, avails thee not ; 

To whom related, or by whom begot : — 

A heap of dust alone remains of thee : 

'Tis all thou art — and all the proud shall be /" 

I shall now proceed to give the names of a few 
of the Chiefs and Chieftains, whose lives were 
fully as chivalrous and romantic as those of their 

They were the spirit of night, which carries 



the collected blast <>i" heaven in his list when he 
intends to pour it on the proves of Morven. The 
oaks hear its sound at a distance, and, trembliDg- 
for its approach, already shake their leaves. 

OF IONA 1 19 



To speak in detail of all the Chiefs and Chieftains 
whose remains slumber in Iona, would inevitably 
lead to something like a history of the Clans. 
I shall therefore content myself with merely giv- 
ing the root of each. Dean Munro, already 
quoted, says, — 

" Within this sanctuarie also lye the maist 
pairt of the Lords of the lies, with ther lynage." 

Tomb of the Lords of the Isles. 
Of this renowned clan it is unnecessary for me 
to say any thing. The grandeur and antiquity 
of Macdonald has been already fully recorded. 
His succession in a direct male line for twenty- 
one generations is deduced in Douglas's peerage, 
page 357. Macdonald has enjoyed not only the 
highest titles and dignities of which subjects of 
olden times were capable, but even that of King 
of the Isles ; and was often treated as such by 
Kings of England and France, and sometimes by 
Kings of Scotland, nolens volens. 


Donald. Lord of the Isles, raised iu 1411, in 

his own isles, lo, OHO men, at the head of whom 
he gave no cold reception to the Bar] of Mar, at 

Harlaw. Of the martial achievements of this 
clan, indeed, we have several records, so far back 
afl a century before the nativity of Christ. CoUa 
Bhuathais, Gille-Bride, Somhairle, Dorudd, and 

a thousand more, are names well known in history. 

'Smairg namhaid d'an noclul iad, "fraoch, 
Lomj, Leomhann, craobh, 's lamh-dhearg !" 

Tomb of the Macleans* 

"A Maclean of Coll appears in armour, with 
a sword in his left hand. A Maclean of Duairt, 
with armour, shield, and two-handed sword. 
And a third of the same name, of the family of 
Lochbuy ; his right hand grasps a pistol, his left 
a sword." — Penn ant 

Gillean and Cailean, two brothers, landed in 
Mull. Gillean soon found grace in the eyes of 
Macdonald, King of the Isles. We find him, at 
the head of his dependents, at the Battle of Largs, 
under King Alexander III., the battle which ex- 
tirpated the Danes, Haco being defeated with an 
army of 20,000 ! Gillise Macilleon, i. e.the son of 
Leon (abbreviated Mac'lean), fought at Bannock- 
burn, under Bruce. Eachan ruadh nan cath, son 

" The name Maclean is metaphorical. It means the 
Son of a Lion. The History of this clan is just published. 

OF IONA. 121 

of Lachlan Lubanach, son of Iain Dubh, son of 
Gillecolum, son of Gillise, son of Gillean, com- 
manded as Lieutenant-general, under the Earl of 
Ross, at the battle of Harlaw in 1411. Hector, 
the 9th of Duairt, at the head of his clan, accom- 
panied King James IV. to the fatal field of 
Flodden, where he sacrificed his own life to save 
that of his royal master. 

What shall I say ? Time would fail me to tell 
of Lachin Bronnach, Eachan Ruadh's son ; of 
Iain Garbh, son of Lachin Bronnach ; and of a 
countless number of Hectors and Lachlans, down to 
Hector the sixteenth generation, who distinguish- 
ed himself at the wild battle of Inver Keithing.* 

The Tomb of Maclean of C oil. 
" A Maclean of Coll appears in armour, with 
a sword in his left hand," &c. — Pennant. Of 
the warriors who rest here, I need only inform 
the visitor, that they were descended from Iain 
Garbh, son of Lachin Bronnach of Duart ; the 
seventh generation in a direct male line, f Their 

* " Thuit Eachunn Ruadh aim an Inbher Cheitein, 
Le 'sheaehd ceud deug d'a threun fhuil dhiricli.'' 

Ian MacAlein. 
\ " Tighearna . Clio? tha mi 'g ra'tin, 
Eoghan Og, is chan aicheam dhuibh ainm ; 
Sar Leathanach priseil, 
De na h-uaislean a chinn o Iain Garbli." 

J. Macilledn. 


souls were not the little souls that, like a vapour, 
hover round the marshy lake, which fears to 
ascend the green liill lest the winds meet it there. 

They were the stream of uiaiiv tides against their 
country's foes, but like the gale that moves the 
grass to those who asked their aid. 

The Tomb of Maclean of Lochbuy* 

" A third of the same name, of the family of 
Lochbuy; his right hand grasps a pistol, his left 
a sword." — Pennant. 

This ceatharnach, most conspicuous in death, 
was still more so in life. What Highlander that 
does not know the life of Eoghan-a-chinn bhig! 
I may not, however, condescend upon particulars. 
Let it suffice to inform the traveller, that the 
warriors who repose here were from Eachunn 
Regannach, son of Iain DubJi, the fourth gene- 
ration from Gillean, and brother to Lachin Lu- 
banach, of whom the Duairt family, already de- 
scribed, are descended. In war they were also 
distinguished. Their own bards represent them 
in battle as, " growing in their place like a flood 
in a narrow vale ;" or, " a whale whom all his 
billows follow." 

Iona continued to be the sepulture of the Mac- 
leans till a very recent epoch. Their bards, even in 
the 1 8th century, make it a matter of regret when 
any of their chiefs missed being interred here : e.g. 

OF IONA. 1 23 

" Gtir a goirt learn r'a chluinntinn, 
Nach tug sibh 'ur n' ionndrainn 
Do dh' Ii mar ri 'mhuinntir," &c. 

Gaoir nam ban Muileach. 

Thus, likewise another bewails, — 
" Nach tug iad do dh' Ii thu, 
Mar ri smns 'reachd do shean'a'r." — M. nV Lachin. 

Mackinnon's and Macquarie's Tomb, 
" Within this sanctuary also lye the maist pairt 
of the Lords of the Iales, with ther lynage. Twa 
Clan Leans, with ther lynage: M'Kinnon fy 
M'Guarie, with ther lynage," &c. — Dean Munro. 
Traveller ! to give you the root of those who 
enrich the dust of this tomb, I shall require to 
bespeak your patience. The Mackinnons and 
the Macquaries are the same race. They are 
both of the Alpinian family, who, from 834 till 
the death of Alexander III., 1285, swayed the 
Scottish sceptre, Kenneth the Great, the 69th 
king, took the patronymic of Kenneth Mac Alpine 
from his brave but murdered father. King 
Alpha's third son was called Prince Gregor, 
the head of that clan. Prince Gregor had a son 
called Donn-Gheal, latinized Dongallus, who in 
his turn had a son called Findan, or Fingon; 
and this is the root of that princely tribe the 
Macfingans, or Mackinnons. James M'Gregor 
of that ilk, entered into a bond of friendship with 
L. Mackinnon, anno 1571, whereby they, "as 


descended of two brothers of auld descent," hound 
themselves, by their oaths and subscriptions, to 

be perpetual friends to each other, 'Minder all 
hazard of disgrace and infamy." A verhathn 
COpy of the bond may he seen in Douglas Baron- 
age, ]>. 1!)7.* 

Macquarie takes his patronymic from Ogha, 
a grandson, and Righ, a king. Allan, the third 
generation of this surname, was eotemporary with 
(li/fean, and fought undeMKing Alexander III. 
at the memorable battle of Largs. The tomb of 
the Righvcan Alpineach is well known in Iona ; 
and, as being the lathers of the royal families of 
Bruce, Baliol, and Stewart, and also of the Mac- 
gregors, the Mackinnons, Grants, Maenabs, &C, 
the visitor may indulge in very profitable reflec- 

'* Their sword was a meteor of heaven — In peace, like 
the sun when he looks through a silent shower." 

Mackenzie's Tomb. 
" On the other side is the tomb and figure of 
Abbot Kenneth; — on the floor is the effigy of an 
armed knight,'' &c — Pennant* 

* Douglas was in error as to the true date of this bond, 
which I am informed was in 1671, just a century later than 
the date assigned by Douglas. 

This seems the proper place to mention, what I have 
just been informed of, that in the year 1606, the chiefs of 
Mackinnon and Macnab entered into a similar league, and 
QU the same ground of mutual descent from one individual. 

OF IONA. 1 25 

This armed knight represents Mackenzie of 
Kintail, of whom I need only say, that he was 
descended from Kenneth, son of Colin, which 
Colin was brother to Gillean, and son of the Earl 
of Kildare, now Duke of Leinster. Ceanntail, 
the family possession in the north, was given by 
King Alexander to Colin, for his services in the 
battle of Largs. This tomb the traveller may 
view with a degree of apathy; but the mighty 
dead are not unknown in song — 

" 'S cinnteach mi d'ar coinneachadh 

MacCoinnich mor Chinn-tail ; 

Fir laidir, dhana, shomailteach, 

De'n f hior-chruaidh air a' foinneachadh, &c." 

A. M'JD. 

MacleoSJs Tomb. 

" On the floor is the figure of an armed knight, 
curiously ornamented, and close to it was the 
burying place ofM'Leod ofM'Leod" — Steamboat 
Comp. p. 175. 

To find Iona the place of sepulture of Chiefs, 
who lived, and who, it may be presumed, died 
also at so great a distance from it, is, of itself, 
enough to make it a most interesting island. It 
is now universally acknowledged, that the 
M'Leods of Scotland were scions of the Norwe- 
gian Kings of Man. 

Godred Croven, son of Harold the Black, of 
the royal family, being appointed sovereign of 

I 26 HISTORICAL \< rol NT 

Man and the Western Isles by King Harold the 

Imperious, COme with a fleet and took possession 

of this kingdom, anno 1066, but the superiority 

still remained with the Kings of Norway. God- 
fired left three sons, Lagmctn, Harota\&ad Olave, 
or Amlave, This Olaye, surnamed the Red, we 

find king in llo*2. He had a daughter who 
married Somhairle MacGillebhride, Thane of 
Argyle, and ancestor of the Maedonalds. Thus 
thing's went on, one reigning, another dying-, till 
King Alexander III., with the fierce elans, hur- 
ried the Danes out of Caledonia at least. King 
Olave IV., I think, had, by his third marriage, a 
son called Leoid, of whom Macleoid.* This Leoid 
flourished in the time of the said King Alexander 
III., and got from Paul, Sheriff of Sky, the land 
of Herries, &c, and from his maternal grandfather, 
the Earl of Koss, a part of the barony of Glenelg. 
He married the daughter of a Danish knight, by 
-whom he got many lands, and two sons, Tor ma id 
and Torcul, the one progenitor of Macleod of 
Herries, Dunvegan and Glenelg; the other pro- 

* I am informed that there is no authority in the Chroni- 
cle of Man for this descent of the Macleods, nor does the 
name Leoid occur in this Chronicle at all, — and that it is 
much more probable this clan derives its origin from the 
ancient Jarls of Orkney, who frequently effected settle- 
ments in the Northern Hebrides, and in whose family Leoid 
or Liod was a common proper name. 

OF IONA. 1 27 

genitor of Macleod of Lewis, Assint and Cogach. 
These two families were ever independent of each 
other ; but since the ruin of the house of Lewis 
in the reign of James VI., the other house has 
been styled Macleods of Macleod. Lewis is re- 
presented by Macleod, or rather Macgillechallum 
of Rasay. Their biography would be long. The 
Highlander who loves " the light of song" must 
know a great deal of it,* and must also know that 
to this day they and the Macleans have been con- 
tinually crossing the breed. — Gv!n cinneadh led. 

The Tomb of the Saints. 

The first of the order of Columba who received 
a tomb in Iona, was Or an. After him that aw- 
ful spot JReleig Orain is called. The next, for 
ought I can find, was Columba himself. Lord 
Buchan informs us that King Aidan, who was 
pupil to Columba, caused his remains to be in- 
terred in the royal burying-ground.\ 

The life of Columba has been given by many 
hands, yet the plan of this little book demands a 
brief sketch of it here. 

In the character of Columba, talents, learning, 

* «« Na Leodaich am por glan 
Cha b'f holach 'ur siol, 
Dream Rioghail gun f hotu 
Nan Gorsaid, 's nan Sgiath," &c. — Iain Dabh. 
t Trans. Antiq. Soc. Vide " Iona.'' 

1 28 BI8TOBIC w, Atroi \ : 

and B constant application to study, make a very 
conspicuous figure; but a still more striking part 
of it is an early, uniform, and strong spirit of 
piety. Far from resting in any measure of sanc- 
tity, lie incessantly laboured and longed after 
higher and higher degrees of it. 

Columba, well aware of the importance of early 
piety, paid particular attention to the young : 
Hence, when the Saint makes his appearance, the 
little children rejoice to see him, and run to meet 
him to receive his benediction. If only the elder 
children of the family should be presented to him, 
he would say : — " Have you not some that are 
younger than these ?" They are all sent for, and 
little Eachan Bui\ (Fair-haired Hector,) says 
Adamnan, when he saw the Saint, ran up to him, 
and laid his head on his bosom. 

Peace, a necessary fruit of the spirit, was a re- 
markable feature in the life of Columba. At the 
great council of Drimceat, the succession to the 
throne was left to his arbitration; and when 
neither clergy nor king could settle a difference 
between the two sons of Lugid Lamhdearg, 
they came with a numerous train from Ireland to 
Iona, where Columba reconciled them, and saved 
Ireland from a civil war.* 

Columba, like every one who lives under a 

* Ulster Annals, 574 ; et Colgan Vit. 5. 

OF IONA. 1 29 

sense of the presence of a righteous God, was 
always faithful. Aoidh, King of Ireland, asked 
him once, whether he thought he should be saved? 
" You have little chance for that," said Columba, 
" unless you expiate the errors of your past life, 
by a speedy and sincere turning to God."* He 
also, at the risk of his life, excommunicated some 
of the nobility of the kingdom, e. g. the sons of 
Connel. When any offended himself, he forgave 
him ; when any offended God, he prayed for him.f 
Tenderness to the poor was not wanting in the 
character of Columba. On a certain winter day, 
which was excessively cold, he was observed to 
be in great distress, and even to weep like a 
child. His servant Dermit took the liberty to 
ask the cause, and got the following answer : " It 
is not without reason, my child, that I am sad: 
my monks at Durrough are, at this inclement 
season, sadly oppressed by Lasrain, who keeps 
them at hard labour ."J His compassion extend- 
ed indeed to the very brute creation. A heron 
had one day ventured a flight from some of the 
remote islands to Iona: by the time it reached 
the shore, it was so far exhausted, that it alighted 
in the water. Columba ordered one of his monks 
to its succour. " Bring it," says he, " to the 
nearest house ; feed it, and take all the care you 

* Colsan Vit. 5ta. f Adam. 3. 16. % Adam. 1. 29. 

130 HISTORIC LL \( col M 

can of it for three (lavs, till it recover its strength, 

and be able to cross the sea again.** But I must 

delist; — the fruit of the tree is the best comment 
Upon its quality, and the fruit ol* (olumba's life 

has for many ages, afforded a harvest of glory 

lor anxious angels to reap. 

To mention oil who followed these WOllld he 

far too tedious: the traveller may revert to the 
Chronicle of events already given. 

Traveller ! we shall not certainly quit this 
famous Golgotha without rumination — without 
self-examination! Here may be read, in very 
large characters, — the evil of sin, — the nothing- 
ness of terrestrial glory, — the certain end of all 
flesh! Here, too, may be read, but dimly, how 
wise it is to look forward to a Day of Judgment, 
when the trump of God shall shake, nay rend 
creation, and ten thousand ages of spirits come 
to join their rising bodies in order to begin an 
age eternal! 

Farewell, Iona! Sure the genius of religion 
hovers still over thy awful tombs! 

INCH, or properly INN1S KENNETH. 

This island I consider virtually part and par- 
cel of Iona. To overlook it, therefore, would be 

* Pinkerton in Adam. I. 4\K 

OF IONA. 131 

doing injustice to the antiquary and the man of 
feeling. " Romance," says Dr Johnson, " does 
not often exhibit a scene that strikes the imagin- 
ation more than this little desert, in these depths 
of western obscurity." — Journey. 

" Inch Kenneth," says Dr M'Culloch, " has a 
claim on the notice of every one who visits this 
country. The ruins of Sir Allan Maclean's 
house, with the chapel, the cross, and the tombs, 
are still to be seen." — Vol. I. p. 527. 

Innis Kenneth was for centuries a seminary, 
subordinate on Iona. The histories of the two 
islands are indeed inseparable. Here, as well as 
in Iona, are entombed saints and chieftains, es- 
pecially of the royal race of Alpin. " The chapel 
here is about sixty feet in length, and thirty in 
breadth. On one side of the altar is a bas-relief 
of the blessed Virgin, and behind it lies a little 
bell, which, though cracked, and without a clap- 
per, has remained there for ages, guarded only 
by the venerableness of the place. The ground 
round the chapel is covered with gravestones of 
Chiefs and Ladies, and still continues to be a 
place of sepulture." — Johnson. 

Although Innis Kenneth had had no college in 
it, Dr Johnson's account of his reception were 
enough to make it classic ground. So much de- 
lighted was he here, that, as the reader may re- 
collect, he composed a Latin poem upon the 


occasion. Of this poem, I <;'ot, before I had 
conceived the thought of writing these pages at 

all, a free translation, from the polite and most 

accomplished late Sir 1). K. Sandford. I think I 
may use the freedom to submit it to the reader, 
without the ceremony of asking liberty of thai 
gianl of liberty. Bui in order to the better un- 
derstanding of it, I may first refresh the reader's 
memory, in the Doctor's own words: — "The 
island's only inhabitants were Sir Allan Maclean, 
and two young ladies, his daughters, with their 
servants." And again, a little farther on: — " In 
the afternoon, Sir Allan reminded us that the 
day was Sunday, which he never suffered to pass 
without some religious distinction, and invited us 
to partake in his acts of domestic worship ; which, 
I hope, neither Mr Boswell nor myself will be 
suspected of a disposition to refuse. The elder 
of the Indies read the English service? This 
paves the way for the poem. 

" Glasgow College, Jan. 29, 1833. 
" Sir, — I am not quite sure, from the terms of 
your letter, whether you wish the lines by John- 
son, to which you call my attention, and which 
are to be found in Bosw r eU's Journal of the Tour 
to the Hebrides, to be translated by me into prose 
or verse. Perhaps the best way is to give you 
a version in each. 

OF IONA. 133 

Insula Sancti Kennethi. 

Parva quidem regio, sed religione priorum 

Nota, Caledonian panditur inter aquas, &c, &c. 


* A spot, small indeed, but famous for the piety 
of it former inhabitants, appears amid the Scot- 
tish waves; where Kenneth is said to have re- 
claimed by his voice fierce tribes, and to have 
untaught them the worship of false gods. Hither 
borne over the green seas with gentle course, I 
desired to learn the novelties of the place. There 
Maclean reigned in a lowly shed — Maclean, en- 
nobled by great ancestors. One cottage con- 
tained, together with their father, two maidens, 
whom love might fancy goddesses of the waters : 
Yet did not they lurk, an uncultured race, in chill 
caverns, such as the savage dweller on the Danube 
possesses. There were not wanting the soft 
solaces of a leisurely life — whether books or the 
lyre. That day hath dawned, which those who 
are instructed in the law of Heaven, bid human 
hopes and cares flee far from them. Amid the 
murmurs of Ocean, the offices of sacred worship 
ceased not to be observed ; here also piety has 
met with observance. What although a woman 
turned the pages of the Book of the Priest! — 
'Tis the pure breast that makes prayers legiti- 

134 HISTORIC \i. LCCOl m 

mate. Whither <lo I wander farther? That 
which is everywhere Bought for is here; — lure is 
safe repose — here, too, is honourable love. 
"I will now endeavour to versify it. 

1 Scarce spied amid the West-sea foam, 

Yet once Religion's chosen home, 

Appears the isle, whose savage race, 

By Kenneth's voice, was won to grace. 

O'er glassy tides I thither flew, 

The wonders of the spot to view. 

In lowly cottage, great Maclean 

Held there his high ancestral reign, 

With daughters fair, whom love might deem 

The Naiads of the Ocean-stream : 

Yet not in chilly cavern rude, 

Were they, like Danube's lawless brood ; 

But all that charms a polish'd age, 

The tuneful lyre, the learned page, 

Combin'd to beautify and bless 

That life of ease and loneliness. 

Now dawn'd the day, whose holy light 

Puts human hopes and cares to flight ; 

Nor 'mid the hoarse waves' circling swel. 

Did worship here forget to dwell. 

What though beneath a woman's hand 

The sacred volume's leaves expand, 

No need of priestly sanction there — 

The sinless heart makes holy prayer ! 

Then wherefore -further seek to rove, 

While here is all our hearts appi^ve, — 

Repose, security, and love ?' 

"D. K. Sandford.' 

This amiable chief. Sir Allan, is buried in 



Innis Kenneth. The thought of the great Eng- 
lish moralist joining the Highland Chieftain in 
the praises of God, in this sequestered little island, 
and the "harpsichord," is indeed a romantic 



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